by Mary Amato
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
When Edgar’s fifth grade class’s pet fish is stolen, he’s ready to jump on the case and find the fish-napper. Unfortunately, so is his arch-rival, Patrick. The thief keeps striking, each time leaving poem-notes behind. As their teacher, Mr. Crew, takes the opportunity to dissect the thief’s notes in a unit on poetry, Edgar finds himself more and more irked by Patrick’s scientific process and also learning more about his classmates. They learn to express themselves through poetry and Edgar even makes a few new friends along the way. One child is mourning the loss of a beloved dog; another is dealing with a changing friendship.
This reads like a 3rd-grade book and has plenty about poetry, including clever teacher names and other riddles tucked inside. I would definitely put this on display for National Poetry Month (April) and might even give it a go for the 2nd-3rd grade book club at my library. There’s a lot about Edgar’s relationships with his classmates, siblings (perfect older brother, baby sister) and clown parents (seriously, they’re clowns) that would be great to discuss with kids that age.