The Best Mistake Mystery by Sylvia McNicoll

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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Best Mistake Mystery is a middle grade novel written by Sylvia McNicoll. Stephen Nobel doesn’t really fit in with the other kids at school, especially after his best friend moved away last year. Stephen tends to hyperfocus on his mistakes, but he takes pleasure in helping his father with the family dog walking business.

Stephen also has an eye for details, and this comes in handy when a series of strange events happen, one after the other. There’s a bomb threat at Stephen’s school, and then someone drives a car into the wall of the gymnasium! Stephen is intrigued by this, and he wonders if there’s a connection. His classmate Renee keeps turning up; at first Stephen is annoyed by her, but as he gets to know her, he just may have discovered a friend and ally. Stephen and Renee need to work together to solve these mysteries, especially since Renee’s brother has been implicated!

I almost always read the middle grade novels I receive with my three daughters, who are in the fourth and second grades at school. They really enjoyed reading The Best Mistake Mystery. They thought it was a very funny book, and they especially enjoyed the antics of the two dogs that Stephen takes care of. They also liked the way that Stephen measured his days by the number of mistakes that he made.

I would recommend The Best Mistake Mystery to middle grade readers. This was a satisfying mystery, and we did not guess the outcome before the big reveal.   Stephen has a kind heart and good intentions, so it was very rewarding to see his friendship with Renee develop over the course of the story. This appears to be the first entry in a series of mystery novels. My girls are already excited to read more of Stephen and Renee’s adventures!

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