Was your artwork stolen just before the school art show? Did a thief try to take your new stereo? Are you being blamed for scratching a friend’s new CD? Never fear, help is on the way! Max Finder and Alison Santos, the stars of OWL Magazine’s popular graphic novel mystery series, are here to help. Using keen eyes, sharp minds, and logical thinking they’ll solve any crime that comes across their path.
O’Donnell’s mystery series is the perfect read for kids who love Encyclopedia Brown, but also enjoy comics. In this collection, Max and Alison solve ten cases revolving around the people in their town. The cases are all four pages long, making them perfect to pick up and sample at leisure. Both boys and girls should enjoy the stories as each of the two detectives has their moment to shine, so even though the series is named for Max, it’s obvious that they are equal partners. The other kids in the town are regular participants in the mysteries, allowing readers to get to know them. Though those characters are slightly stereotypical–there’s the girly girl, the athletic boy, the nerd, the bully–they don’t always fall into the roles expected of them when it comes to the mysteries. Allowing the meeker kids to be the criminals and the bullies to be innocent is a good technique for keeping the story fresh.
Cho’s art is both realistic and cartoonish….
Max Finder Mystery: Collected Casebook, vol. 1
Liam O’Donnell; art by Michael Cho
Owl Kids, 2006