The Mystery of the Stolen Treasure is the second book in the Lizzie & Lucky series. After successfully solving the mystery of the stolen puppies, Lizzie, Lucky and the family are heading off to the seaside where things are not quite as they seem.
Lizzie and Lucky love solving mysteries and on a family trip to the seaside it doesn’t take long for a mystery to present itself. The townsfolk talk of missing pirate treasure that no one has ever been able to find and more recently, precious items have been going missing from the local museum. Most people, especially children, would just shrug it off and enjoy the beach, but not Lizzie. She is determined to discover the truth and she won’t leave until she has it…
Megan Rix gives young readers a cracking little mystery by the sea with a wonderful protagonist and her faithful fluffy sidekick. Equipped with her detective bag full of mystery-solving gear - binoculars, torch, magnifying glass and mum’s old tweezers - Lizzie is more than up to the challenge of solving any mystery that comes her way. Brave, fearless and with a wonderful moral code - Lizzie isn’t afraid to call out anyone who she feels is acting unjust or treating others unfairly - she is a fabulous little role model.
Lizzie and Lucky are not your typical detective duo, eight-year-old Lizzie is deaf and Lucky is a dog. It is fabulous that those children who have grown-up with a hearing impairment and/or use sign language to communicate can see themselves represented in a story and the book will provide much familiarity. Both of Lizzie’s parents are deaf and at home they use sign language all of the time.
It is outside of the home that Lizzie and her family experience some of the problems of deafness, all of which are gently addressed; lip-reading in the dark or when people don’t speak clearly or when they turn away from you mid-sentence, not everyone uses and understands sign-language, having to video call a sign-language interpreter when needing to talk to the police. All of these scenarios encourage the reader to empathise and understand those who live in a soundless world.
The story is a lovely read and offers up lots to discuss, lots to think about and plenty to learn. Short chapters, plenty of black and white illustrations and generously sized and spaced out text all add to the reading experience and will keep young readers engrossed in the exciting story. There’s even some wonderful history included; Princess Joanna of Scotland was using sign language in the 1400s and the Digiti Lingua of 1698 was the earliest form of British sign language. A brilliant ‘Learn to Sign’ section at the back and some signed words to decode make for delightful little extras.
As we seek to diversify our bookshelves and ensure that all children can feel represented and seen in the books they read, books like this are essential. And whilst deafness is an important part of the story it is certainly not the sole focus of the book. This is a read for lovers of mysteries, pirates, dogs and stories by the sea. Bring on more mystery-solving with Lizzie & Lucky!
With huge thanks to Penguin Random House for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 6+.