Friday, February 24, 2017

Review from Belle: The Secret Files of Phineas Foster by G.B. Gurland

The Secret Files of Phineas Foster
G.B. Gurland
  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers (October 31, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1786293323
  • ISBN-13: 978-1786293329

Almost thirteen-year-old Gabriel Marx struggles with just about everything, from school, to relationships, to navigating between his divorced parents. He arrives in New York City for his annual summer visit with his attorney father who finds himself caught up in the mystery surrounding the murder of one of his clients. 

It is not long before Gabe finds himself smack in the middle of the intrigue and more determined than ever to prove himself to his dad. Gabe encounters various players in the unraveling mystery, learns to trust the friendship of eleven-year-old Alex, and that of the renowned, but now discredited, Professor Phineas Foster. Twists and turns and seeming coincidences reveal previously unknown family history and harrowing choices for Gabe. 

Will the children solve the murder? Will their determination lead to the truth? Will the professor be vindicated? Will the scoundrels who sought to corrupt the professor's lifelong work be brought to justice?

Written in third person, The Secret files of Phineas Foster by G.B. Gurland is about clearing a man’s name of murder. The mystery story had several stories going through it. Phineas Foster was trying to clear his name of murder while Philip Kingsley was trying to clone a child to make an army of perfect kids. Gabe and Alex are trying to help Phineas while Kingsley trying to clone Gabe for his army. 

The story got rather confusing as there were so many different side stories happening that it became difficult for me to follow sometimes what was going on. The one thing I did like was that two young kids, roughly ages 10 and 12 years old, are the ones working hard to solve the mystery. Now I like a good mystery but I felt that there were too many different stories happening with sudden switches that made this book unenjoyable for me. 

For someone else, they may like a lot of info given to them. If you like a big cast and knowing all of their stories, then this would be for you.

G.B. Gurland has been an educator for over forty years. She has extensive experience working with school-age children, adolescents, and young adults with reading and literacy challenges. 

More recently she has turned her attention to writing children's books, and has edited and published several workbooks in the area of vocabulary development. 

The Secret Files of Phineas Foster is her first middle grade novel.

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