Fuse #8

Monday, April 30, 2007

I Love That the Edgar Statue Sports a Donald Duck Neckerchief

How many middle grade mysteries have you read this year?

I've read one. Uno. Less than two and more than zero. So my question to you is this: Mysteries sell really really well sometimes, yes? Chasing Vermeer, for example, made its money back and it wasn't even that great of a mystery. And sure, the first Enola Holmes book didn't get the attention it so surely deserved, but by and large I get a ton of kids coming into my branch asking for mysteries. And nine times out of ten I have to point them in the direction of the series books because middle grade mysteries are few and far between. Why is this? Are they hard to write? Are publishers just blind to this trend? What gives?

All this is to say that the Edgar Awards were announced last week. And for the young 'uns, two wins.

YA Winner:
Buried by Robin Merrow MacCready

Juvenile Winner:
Room One: a mystery or two by Andrew Clements

Well done all around then. That would be a fun committee to be on, don't you think? The juvenile Edgar Award committee. I'd like that. And for an encapsulation of the evening of the awards you may indulge yourself in either the Edgar bulletpoints or first-time children's novelist Eric Berlin's take right over here.

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At 10:08 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I write mystery :) Well mystery/adventure/time travel. And it is a series. However each story is a stand alone and each place the children travel is a different period in time.

I agree though I have a harder time finding 'mystery' books to read than any other genre.

A lot of historical books have that mystery element to it--not pure mystery, but the search for something, and the path to finding it...

Have you read any of the Chet Gecko Series by Bruce Hale...those are fun mysteries...

At 11:24 AM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Love 'em. Series though. A little young too. Stand alones are, by far, much rarer.

At 3:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Edgar Awards are a little strange, though. Their definition of what makes a mystery seems to be pretty loose. For example, mystery is not the first word that comes to mind when I think of Bloor's Tangerine, yet it was either nominated for or won an Edgar. (Sorry, but I still can't understand why we no longer underline titles and why underlining isn't an option on most blogging tools.)

I agree that we need more good mysteries for both middle-grade and teens.

At 7:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to be on that committee, too. Such fun! I love mysteries for all ages. And mysteries often keep kids reading through what might otherwise be critical drop-off points, so I think that makes them important.

At 11:04 AM , Blogger Chris said...

My adult book group is reading the Enola Holmes books in the fall. I can't wait for the discussion (I have read them already).

At 11:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The number one request for pleasure reading books that I get from children is mysteries, mysteries, mysteries but there is a lot of turning up of noses on historical mysteries...or anything smacking of sci fi... they just want a good juicy mystery - and aren't those hard to find.
I second the query: Why? Do publishers not realize that a lot of kids have had it up to here with fantasy and just want some good ole sleuthing?


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