1967, Bethlehem Books, 133 pages, softcover
Entertaining detective stories are a delightful and oft-overlooked segment of children's literature. They are good for sparking the interest of reluctant readers, encouraging thinking skills and good clean fun. Being a professed fan of Donald Sobol's Encyclopedia Brown series since the age of eight, I was eager to read this title, reprinted by Bethlehem Books. I wasn't disappointed.
Set in 1960s Florida, Secret Agents Four relates the adventures of four teens (V.A.C.U.U.M.) who attempt to help the secret M.O.N.G.O.O.S.E. team fight against the terrorist-style threats of the evil C.O.B.R.A. organization. Reminiscent of the Get Smart television show, V.A.C.U.U.M.'s adventures are filled with plenty of mishaps and quirky humor. Lots of fun for the whole family.
Here's a few paragraphs from the beginning of the story to give you an idea:
We all knew it was going to be an exciting summer because Orv Davy got off to such a fast start.Donated by Bethlehem Books
Orv is Dade City's top boy inventor. His first explosion occurred the very afternoon school let out. The boiler of his snow remover invention blew up.
My name is Ken Mullins. Inventing with Orv is the best way I know to stay in shape for track. You can never be sure when you're going to have to jump, or how far.
When the smoke from the explosion cleared, I saw a strange man standing by Orv's back door.
I hadn't heard him approach. With pieces of concrete hitting garbage cans and trees, and things flying seven ways at once, it's not easy to hear footfalls. Besides, I had a feeling the man could sneak up on a panther. He tickled my curiosity. Usually a person wandering into the Davy back yard for the first time doesn't stay. He takes one look and lights out for home holding his head...
Reviewed by Alicia Van Hecke
See our Love2learn page on this book here.
Thanks to the generosity of Bethlehem Books, we have two copies of this book to give away AND we'll be giving more of their books away tomorrow! If you'd like to be entered in this drawing, please leave a comment before tomorrow (January 29th) at 10 a.m. (Pacific time) and check back soon afterwards to see if you've won!