Anisha Accidental Detective: School’s Cancelled is the second book in this delightful series, which can be read in any order. This is an incredibly fun, warm and clever mystery which is perfect for younger readers who will become immersed in the antics of these schoolchildren – laughs guaranteed – and in Anisha’s truly wonderful family.
Anisha – who loves science and wants to meet an astronaut – is understandably excited about her school’s big announcement: the National Schools Science Fair is being held at her school with the winning team getting a trip to the National Space Centre where they will meet an astronaut. Anisha’s team is one of two representing her school with their volcano project. Of course, her best friend Milo is working with her as is their new friend Govi who is new to the school, and finding it hard to settle in.
Disaster strikes when Anisha’s chances of having her dream fulfilled are ruined when her team is banned from taking part in the Fair after their volcano explodes, causing the school to be closed due to a foam flood! Anisha is confident that her team are not to blame, so who has sabotaged their chances of winning at the Science Fair?
Anisha and her best friend Milo, with the help of his pet rat Ralph, decide to investigate the mystery of the exploding volcano to clear their names and reveal the culprits. Who would want to sabotage their chances and why? Will they be able to clear their name before the Science Fair takes place?
The mystery that unravels is fantastically fun, clever and action-packed, with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. Anisha identifies possible culprits, undertakes some clue-spotting and finds help from unexpected sources. The plot is very cleverly structured to keep the reader intrigued as they follow Anisha’s sleuthing brilliance!
I must give a shout-out to the super fun school staff names, perfectly matched to their roles: Miss Bunsen, Mr Helix, Mr Bristles to name a few. I also really liked the inclusion of the footnotes to explain some of the Indian food that Granny Jas cooks – yet another reason to love her! And thank you Granny Jas for the Paratha Recipe – I’ll have mine with green chillies!
Anisha is an incredibly likeable, kind-hearted young girl. The author’s writing style captures her voice perfectly: likeable, friendly, confident and chatty. However, she is not averse to Year 6 peer pressure as she feels she needs to hide her intelligence from her classmates. I also loved the insight into Anisha’s Indian family, and the warmth of their relationships, from her yoga-loving mum to her party-throwing Aunt Bindi but, most of all, her Granny Jas who I absolutely adored. She is incredibly supportive of Anisha, believing her immediately when she gets into trouble at school and encouraging her be herself and be proud. Such a brilliantly positive message for any child!
Lots of gorgeous, expressive illustrations are included which are certain to capture the interest of young readers as is the appealing layout with use of capitalisation and bold text.
This is a delightfully refreshing, modern-feeling mystery, with some great twists and plenty of laughs, that I have no doubt will gain an army of young fans.
Thank you to Usborne and Fritha Lindqvist for a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.