Series Review: Nate the Great

Rating: ★★★★☆

Nate the Great is an extensive series of easy-reader mysteries.  Nate, a young sleuth with a  penchant for pancakes, is finishing breakfast when he receives a telephone call from a friend who has lost a picture.  He walks to her house (considerately leaving a note for his mother) and uses observation and deductive reasoning to determine what happened to the picture.

Within the confines of a limited early-reader vocabulary, the writing in this series is above average.  Each story unfolds with enough suspense to hold interest and provide reading practice.  The mood is obviously reflective of the old-fashioned detective genre, as evidenced by this cheery exchange:

“I don’t know how to thank you,” Annie said.
“I do,” I said.
“Are there any pancakes left?”
I hate to eat on the job.
But the job was over.

In general, the books I have read from this series reflect a wholesome appeal.  They are often funny, and they introduce the concepts of observation and deduction.  Most importantly, they provide an enticing opportunity to exercise newly-attained reading skills.  Some books in the series do deal with Halloween themes, though, so parents may want to scan them first before handing them to eager readers.

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Publication Information: Sharmat, Marjorie Weinman. Nate the Great. Simont, Marc (Illustrator). G.P. Putman's Sons. 1972. ISBN: 0385730179.
Categories: 4 Stars, Age 04-08,, Easy Readers

Posted on October 13, 2011

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