Title: Mall Girl Meets the Shadow Vandal
Author: Kimberly Baer
Genre: Middle-Grade Mystery
Chloe Lamont doesn't live in a neighborhood, like most kids. Her house is in the middle of the mall. And now someone is stealing items from her house and using them to vandalize stores. Who is trying to frame her? And how are they getting into the house?
Desperate to catch the real vandal and clear her name, Chloe seeks help from the kids in her Mystery Reading Group at school. While searching for clues, the Mystery Groupers make an astounding discovery. And then things get really crazy…
What girl wouldn't want to live in a mall? Chloe Lamont, that's who. She'd love to be like normal kids her age and live in a neighborhood. But she and her mom's house is smack dab in the middle of the mall, and Chloe will be the first to tell you it's not as fun as you might think. A vandal is egging stores in the mall and as Chloe soon discovers, they are stealing eggs from her own kitchen. Who is behind the egging and why are they framing Chloe and her mom? Chloe hasn't a clue but enlists the help of her mystery reading group at school. Can Mall Girl, as her friend calls her, and the Mystery Groupers solve this real-life mystery before it's too late?
Mall Girl Meets the Shadow Vandal is an imaginative, quirky middle-grade mystery. As a girl, I often thought how cool it would be to live at the mall. Kimberly Baer takes this idea and creates a truly original story. Chloe is a heroine every reader can relate to. She's entering the 7th grade and her best friend to this point isn't in any of her classes anymore. Chloe reluctantly makes new friends and steps outside her comfort zone. This important subplot and character development arc take this book from a regular mystery into an emotional coming of age story. The plot progression is set at a natural pace. There's a real-life feel to Mall Girl Meets the Shadow Vandal, which impressed me. Kimberly Baer's growth as a writer is showcased in Mall Girl Meets the Shadow Vandal and I commend her. Part Beverly Cleary, part N. Drew, Mall Girl Meets the Shadow Vandal will keep you reading until the very end. I hated leaving Chloe and I wish there were more Mall Girl adventures to read. If you've ever wanted to live at the mall, pick up Mall Girl Meets the Shadow Vandal. If you're looking for a middle-grade mystery, you'll love Mall Girl Meets the Shadow Vandal. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 5+ stars
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Kimberly Baer wrote her first story at age six. It was about a baby chick that hatched out of a little girl's Easter egg after somehow surviving the hard-boiling process. Nowadays she enjoys writing middle-grade and young adult fiction. She lives in Virginia, where she likes to go power-walking on days when it's not too hot, too cold, too rainy, too snowy, or too windy. On indoor days, you might find her binge-watching one of her favorite TV shows: Gilmore Girls, Friends, or The Office.
You can call her “Kim.” All her friends do.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N