Tuesday 25 June 2024

Justice in June - Doreen McAvoy - Fern Valley Mystery Book 3

Justice in June
Fern Valley Mystery Book 3
Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.
ISBN 9798891341586
eISBN 9798891341609

Justice in June - Doreen McAvoy - Fern Valley Mystery Book 3

This is the third offering pen of McAvoy. It is a great novel to wrap up this trilogy, but my son and I hope we have more stories with this gang as they move off to Secondary school. This book and series bring to mind many other books, other Catholic of Christian Middle Grade fiction, and even some secular books. In some ways it reminds me of the Goodballs series by Tony Abbott and Colleen Madden but geared for older children. It also reminds me of the West Brothers books by Theresa Linden but for a younger audience. And a bit like the Sisters of the Last Straw series and geared for about the same reading level. But with children as the main character and not nuns. This story is what I call realistic fiction. It is a story that could be set in the here and now. Nothing supernatural or otherworldly. Or as Madeleine L’Engle called it Chronos time, real time fiction. The description of the story is:

“Will expects June in Fern Valley to be a time of joyous celebrations. One message changes everything.

As the bittersweet end of eighth grade draws near, Will and his friends, old and new, plan to finish middle school on a high note. Fun spring projects, ball games, and celebrating momentous occasions all await. Only one thing mars the glorious promise of June—the looming trial of Otis Mayfield. A message about Betsy, revealed during the reading of Percy Mayfield’s will, sets off a series of events that threaten the safety of both Betsy and the class bully, Beefy Boris. With new clues, Will and the gang resume their quest to discover the truth behind the devastating fire that happened in Fern Valley thirteen years earlier. Can they, once and for all, bring a just resolution to the case that has plagued them the entire school year?”

My son and I greatly enjoyed all three novels in this series. This third story takes it to a new level. This story is very well written, and it is an engaging read, I was using adaptive technology while to listen to it while working out. It took a little longer to read this one, my son was really busy with school and extracurricular, but he wanted us to read the book together. He read it to me over a few sessions. We are both hoping that there will eventually be a story for each month of the year, at least to start with. The characters are very fun, they are good kids, you will see echoes of kids from your own childhood, or your own children and their friends. These story moves at a good pace. There is nothing in the story that explicitly makes it Catholic. Even the church with Sunday school feels more evangelical or mainline Christian. This opens the story up to a wider audience. It was a great read.

I did not read much when I was younger because of my dual form of dyslexiadual form of dyslexia. Because of that I really enjoy reading Middle Grade and Young Adult books now. McAvoy’s writing style is similar to those of Andrew Clements, Gordon Korman, and Chris d’Lacey. All of whom are among my favourite authors for those age groups. I would absolutely pick up the next volume in this series or another series featuring these kids in secondary school and give it a read. It is a great novel and I look forward to seeing where the characters go next.

A very fun middle grade school story it is sure to entertain the whole family.   

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Doreen McAvoy:
Fern Valley Mysteries:

Justice in June - Doreen McAvoy - Fern Valley Mystery Book 3

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