Childrens Book Review

Sophie and The Finn: Secret of the Box
Written by J. Peter Clifford
Age Range: 10-­‐13
Paperback: 146 pages
Publisher: Telemachus Press (January 30, 2015)
ISBN: 978-­‐1941536841
What to expect: Dogs, Mystery, Danger

Sophie and The Finn: Secret of the Box is the second book in author J. Peter Clifford’s mystery series about Erica Stafford—a spunky seventh grader who has premonitions and often finds herself embroiled in risky adventures—and her two loyal dogs, Sophie and The Finn.

It’s summer break and Erica heads to the Jersey Shore to stay with her aunt for two weeks. She takes along her best friend, Abby, who also has a penchant for being a daredevil and taking risks. Upon their arrival, the town is abuzz with news of a gang of jewel thieves that have broken into a museum in New York. The two girls are quickly taken with the story and begin piecing snippets of information together. They soon discover that some of the gang members may be close to Erica’s aunt’s home. When they find a mysterious locked box in the sand, they realize that it must be a missing artifact from the New York robbery. They enlist the help of Jake, a good-­‐looking eighth grade boy, to help them solve the mystery and lead the FBI to the thieves.

Clifford’s characters are nicely developed and the mystery unfolds in a well-­‐paced manner. Suspense is built into the story through a clever narrative device: the author switches between the point of view of the children and that of the thieves. Suspenseful and gripping moments for the reader occur when the children unknowingly come mere seconds away from encountering the thieves and endangering their lives.

Sophie and The Finn: Secret of the Box is chock-­‐full of action and suspense. There are thieves hiding in a hotel room with guns, a map, a missing box with secret contents, FBI agents, and even a kidnapping. This is a dramatic and fast-­‐paced story for adventurous, 10-­‐13 year-­‐old readers that enjoy protagonists with determination.

—The Children’s Book Review

The Children’s Book Review |