Twins Ethan and Ella are in India with their parents. They explore the sights as a family. But when they visit a friend of their grandfather's, a spice merchant, they discover he is having trouble with customers complaining about bad spices. The twins offer to help solve the mystery of the spices since they have had a little experience in previous adventures.

There are pencil drawings throughout the story. They are really quite exquisite and detailed especially for a young children's novel. The pictures help speed the story along and explain some of the concepts.

The mystery itself was extremely simple. This is not necessarily a bad thing for this age group. The text is large and the details kept as simple as possible for young readers. There are a lot of Indian words and concepts which will be more difficult to read and yet adds interest. This story is advertised for ages 5-9, but I don't believe very many 5 and 6 year olds will be able to read this independently. It can certainly be read to them. I would recommend this book to advanced first graders up to third grade.

mmcbeth29's rating:
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