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The Postcard    by Toby Abbott order for
by Toby Abbott
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

The Postcard is a fun and unique book about coming to terms with your family. Author Tony Abbott has written a mystery within a mystery that makes the pages fly. When Jason Huff's grandmother dies, he must go down to Florida to help his dad clean out her house, despite the fact that he hardly knew her. At first unhappy about spending the start of his summer vacation away from his friends in Boston, Jason soon stumbles upon a mystery.

It all starts with a mysterious phone call that leads to a postcard hidden in his grandmother's desk. When his grandmother's neighbor hands Jason and his dad a stack of important papers, Jason finds the beginning of a story written by his grandmother's old friends. As he reads it, people he has met and things he has seen since coming to Florida seem to be depicted in the decades old story. When his dad ends up in the hospital after falling off a ladder, Jason decides to sneak out and follow the clue in the old postcard. Luckily, his grandmother's yard girl, Dia, sees him and decides to tag along. The two soon find themselves knee deep in mystery and in a race to find the final clue a clue that will reveal the truth about Jason's dad's family.

At its heart, The Postcard is a mystery. However, it is really so much more. Through the mystery, Jason learns a lot about family, not just his dad's parents, but his parents, too. Abbott has written a true-to-life protagonist in Jason, but he rounds out the story with incredible characters who add to the mystery and the fun, making The Postcard a fast-paced read. Only after putting the book down does the rest of Jason's lesson come across.

The Postcard is different in so many ways from most mysteries aimed at middle school students. Tony Abbott has a way of bringing the impossible to life while slipping in a valuable lesson. The Postcard is a must-read for tweenaged mystery fans.

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