by Geoffrey Hayes
Reading Level 2.8
|Characters:||Otto, Uncle Tooth, Auntie Hick, Captain Poopdeck, Joe Puffin, Widow Mole, Blackeye Doodle, Ducky Doodle|
|Plot:||Strange things are happening in Boogie Bay: people are seeing ghosts, things are disappearing, and dead pirates are appearing to haunt the townspeople. The residents of Boogie Bay are frightened, and they want answers!|
|Solution:||Otto and Uncle Tooth decide to solve the mystery by following the clues, which lead to a very surprising ending.|
|Summary:||One day, Otto and Uncle Tooth are cleaning out the attic. They find a trumpet, and Uncle Tooth tells Otto he may have it. Otto is very excited and plays the instrument as he walks around the village. On his walk, he learns about a number of robberies. He scares Auntie Hick, who was already jumpy—she believes she has just seen a ghost! Thus begins a series of events that are lead to an adventure for Otto and his friends in Boogie Bay. They believe the robberies done by the ghost of Blackeye Doodles, a pirate who drown at sea. As it turns out, Blackeye's orphan son, Ducky Doodles, is stealing things to survive. He ran away from the orphanage to become a pirate like his father. Otto and Uncle Tooth decide to help Ducky get a job and repay the folks from whom he stole things. Not only do they solve the mystery of the pirate ghost, now that they've had a taste of adventure, they decide to start a detective agency in search of more excitement.|
|Curriculum Connections:||Writing mystery stories, rocks and cave unit|
Ask the students if they have ever lost something, and it became a real mystery as to what had happened. Tell them, [This has happened to us all. Our story today is even more exciting! It is a mystery about a pirate!] What other stories do they know with pirates in them?
Have students do the following exercise: Picture yourself near the ocean in a little village where pirates hang out. You hear there are strange things happening, and a long-dead pirate is being blamed for them. How do you feel?
Discuss the elements of a mystery:
Suspense: emotions are touched and we want to keep reading
A hook: something to grab your interest at the beginning of the story
Danger: this can be in the form of risk, intrigue, violence
Foreshadowing: author leaves clues in the story as to the solution
Cliffhangers: a technique used at the end of chapters to keep us reading
Strong characters: usually very interesting, striking characters