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The Wig in the Window

(Young and Yang #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,447 ratings  ·  232 reviews
Best friends and seventh graders Sophie Young and Grace Yang have made a game out of spying on their neighbors. On one of their midnight stakeouts, they witness a terrifying, bloody scene at the home of their bizarre middle-school counselor, Dr. Charlotte Agford (aka Dr. Awkward).

At least, they think they do. The truth is that Dr. Agford was only making her famous pickled
Hardcover, 351 pages
Published June 18th 2013 by HarperCollins Children's Books
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  1,447 ratings  ·  232 reviews

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Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
This books is fantastic. I was expecting something light-hearted and funny, a whimsical adventure about two young female sleuths who get in over their heads... what I got was all of that, plus so much more.

There is *depth* to this book. Not hit-you-on-the-head-with-Big-Issues kind of depth (although I like those books, too), but subtle depth in every character and situation. Stereotypes are routinely addressed and smashed, and readers will be introduced to the idea of cultural appropriation, pe
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014, juvenile
Story was interesting enough and the mystery was good, too, but my main problem was with some of the characters.

I absolutely dislike it when two characters, friends, go on an adventure but it is usually the idea of only one of them and it is usually the other that gets in trouble. Meanwhile, the idea gal keeps getting these stupid ideas for her gullible friend to do.

This was the case here. Grace had all the great ideas of spying, breaking and entering, stealing, etc because SHE was interested in
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In THE WIG IN THE WINDOW, best friends and spy partners Sophie Young and
Grace Yang face all the struggles of middle school's changing friendships
AND the dangers of a real life-or-death mystery. This book is funny,
realistic, and suspenseful -- a pitch-perfect mystery for the tween set.
McCormick Templeman
Dec 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book with beautiful writing and incredibly fun plotting – the kind of book I love as an adult, but would have killed for as a kid. Sophie and Grace are the very spirit of adventure. They are fun and brave, and smart, though not without some very human foibles. Trista is a revelation. Just a fantastic character. The book is incredibly fun, but it’s not fluff. There are some really interesting things going on at a deeper level in this book. Kittscher really taps into what it is to be a ...more
May 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
I cannot begin to fully articulate the amount of suspension of disbelief this book requires. Just as I decided to allow something, just as I began to sort of fit its ridiculousness into the worldbuilding, bam, the author piled on something even more ridiculous.

This is even worse than absent parents: this has the parents, and hasn't the slightest clue how to properly fit them in. But this book doesn't have the slightest clue about quite a lot of things, including the fact that twelve-year-olds ar
Nov 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Middle-Grade Readers Who Enjoy Mysteries
Best friends Sophie Young and Grace Yang, would-be spies and FBI investigators, become involved in a mystery surrounding Sophie's middle-school guidance counselor in this debut children's novel from Kristen Kittscher. Dr. Agford - AKA Dr. Awkward - had always seemed rather creepy to Sophie, but when she sees her guidance counselor committing what she think is a murder, and reports her to the police, the fallout reveals just how menacing Agford can be. Although she was only canning beets, Dr. Agf ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Kristen Kittscher's debut caught my eye with that brilliantly adorable cover, one which perfectly captures the book itself, which makes it even better. Though mysteries aren't my genre of choice, I couldn't resist checking this one out, because of the Rear Window connection. Pop culture references are for the win always. The Wig in the Window is above all a story of friendship and courage, with plenty of humor and adventure to keep readers of all ages entertained.

The first thing I need to give K
Shelby Bach
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves-of-2013
You guys, I LOVED The Wig in the Window. I kind of guessed I would, but I was surprised at HOW MUCH I loved it. It’s definitely one of my favorite middle grades of the year.

I’ve been waiting to read something like it for a long time. The mystery kept me guessing, right up until the end, but the REAL attraction for me was the three sleuths: Sophie, Grace, and Trista! Some books in this age group don’t give kids enough credit, and it drives me crazy. But Sophie, Grace, and Trista bounce off the pa
Rachele Alpine
Mar 15, 2012 marked it as to-read
Oh goodness....I loved this book! The girls' dialogue had me cracking up the entire time I was reading it and the situations they got themselves into as they tried to solve the mystery were fun and creative. It reminded myself of all the trouble and mischief I got into when I was in grade school! I can see this getting passed around and around the hands of mystery lovers! ...more
Amy Ariel
Jan 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015-challenge

Spoiler alert ***

I'm not surprised so many have loved this book. It's fast, it's engaging, and has a lot of want to know what's next appeal.

However, I imagine the messages for an 8-12 year old audience and find it irresponsible at best. It's harmless enough as an adult reader, but I could not in good conscience recommend it to its target audience.

There are no reliable adults in this book. Not one. And even at the very end, when the threat to the girls lives has been proven very real, instead o
Nov 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
There's so much to love in this book! Fabulous twelve-year-old girls squaring up to danger and solving mysteries! A heroine whose fantasy is to be a professor of Asian studies at Oxford! Her best friend, who plans to join the FBI! A wonderfully smart, ruthless and snarky new friend, met by the heroine when she becomes a social outcast! And it's all really funny, too.

I think if I were more of a mystery fan myself, I would have given this book 5 stars and loved every bit of it. Because I'm not re
I might have given it four stars, except that the addition of the BEST fat character I've encountered in a middle grade novel leveled it way the hell up! nicely done! funny, fast paced, fun, with great characters and a legitimately creepy villain...fabulous job, esp for a debut author. but most of all, it wins everything for Testa, who is fat, badass, a science and engineering genius, eats healthily, and doesn't take any shit. even though the story is obvs completely different, the friendship be ...more
This book was well written and I really enjoyed it. It was about two girls, Sophie and Grace, who are "detectives". When they find something not so pleasant they try to investigate the situation with Dr. Charlotte Agford and try to prove what they saw. The girls become very irritated with each other and it has a plot-twist ending. Overall I thought it was a very great book. ...more
Kellee Moye
*Review at: http://www.unleashingreaders.com/?p=8269

In the tradition of Nancy Drew, and, in this case, Sun Tzu, Young and Yang are on the case! This book immediately draws you in and the action never stops. You are predicting and trying to solve the mystery right alongside Sophie and Grace throughout the whole book! Twist and turns keep you guessing and the ending is quite an adventure!

One of the things I liked the most about this book were the characters. There are 3 main girl characters (Trist
Mar 30, 2017 marked it as xx-dnf-skim-reference
Overdue for Clan... one at Washoe....
Group read Children's: fiction club....
But given the 'ridiculous suspension of disbelief' and disrespect for children's intelligence and awkwardness of parental characters, according to a reviewer I trust, I'm not sure I want to hunt it down....
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
the book was amazing. a good old mystery. if you like mystery's you should read this book if you want too ...more
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
4 fudgy, frosted brownies.

Cover Love:
Yes! I love the colors and the font and the girls. I just adore this cover and know it will be eye catching to many readers in my library!

Why I Wanted to Read This:
I love tween girl mystery books so when I read the synopsis for this one I knew I had to read it.

My Thoughts:
This is not a tame little mystery story. There is a lot of danger and action and a very intriguing mystery. One thing I liked (that I think will resonate with most kids) was how easy it was
Apr 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Right from the very beginning, I loved how this book allowed for so much growth between Sophie and Grace. Spread throughout the course of this book are many different funny--and yet believable--situations. One thing that I'm starting to really appreciate in middle-grade fiction is quirkiness without ridiculousness, and it's something that I continually found time and time again in THE WIG IN THE WINDOW. Not only does it maintain consistency and humor, it's headed by two very different, strong fe ...more
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade, mystery
Sophie and Grace like to play at being spies. On one of their nightly escapades they spy something sinister through a neighbor's window. They see a teacher hacking someone to bits...well they see lots of blood and her with a huge knife. Turns out that she was making pickled beets. Something is still sort of off about Dr. Agford though, and the girls are convinced that she is up to no good. They really don't have any proof though, all they have is a hunch. A hunch might prove to be good enough th ...more
Ms. Yingling
Sep 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Sophie and Grace are great friends, and spy on their neighbors to pass the time. All goes well until they spy on the guidance conselor at Sophie's school, Dr. Agford, and think they see her hacking a bloody body on the kitchen counter with a cleaver. Of course, they phone the police with this information, and (of course) it turns out that Dr. Agford was really doing something benign instead. Sophie gets in big trouble with her parents as well as the school, and has to work in Agford's yard as we ...more
Everyone has had a teacher they particularly disliked. But Sophie and Grave have a teacher that isn't just dislikable...she's darn right villainous.

Mid-way through this book I thought I would give it a lower rating. The beginning was fun, but awkward and meaningless at some places. Then the pace picked up, and everyone's identities were switching and it was so–AAAHHHH! I loved it! I would have given it a five at that point.

The characters were great. Charlotte Agford in all her fake-ness was a t
K.L. Hallam
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When I read the blurb for THE WIG IN THE WINDOW, Kristen Kittscher’s middle-grade mystery with its premise: two seventh-graders, midnight steak outs, spying, suspicious neighbors, walkie-talkies, secret codes, and mistaken identities, all rolled into a humorous and creepy mystery, I had to read this.

I loved this book! The humor of the mc, Sophie Young, together with her best friend, Grace Yang, as they turn into self-appointed agents, Young and Yang— slayed me.
The girls become tangled up in a c
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Grace and Sophie- two peas in a pod.
Best friends till the end.
And now, partners in crime!

One night during their sleuthing, things get real! And Sophie and Grace stumble upon a mystery that could put them both in danger. Something is off about Dr. Agford, the school counselor. And it's up for Sophie and Grace to figure it out.
Can they solve the mystery before they lose the most important things of all- their friendship and possibly their lives?

So I should probably start off with the fact tha
Jenny Sawyer
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
The Wig in the Window was a book I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this summer. But instead of being delighted by this middle grade mystery, featuring two best friends whose relationship is changing, I found myself disturbed, confused, and ultimately disappointed. My biggest problem: a deluge of appearance slurs, which left me more than a little uncomfortable. (I mean, I know that teen girls are image-conscious and judgmental, but shouldn’t a book for this age group do more to lift them out of ...more
Renee Brandon
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you want a mystery for kids, this is it! Perfect for grades 4 and up, both boys and girls. Kittscher does a wonderful job twisting and turning the mystery and suspense through the entire story. It's a fun and lively book and one that I will be sharing with my students. Grace and Sophie are best friends, and spies. Their normal quiet neighborhood is turned into a den for suspects as they go out searching for criminals. Their "normal" nightly routine of spying on their neighbors turns scarily i ...more
J. Mann
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Best friends Sophie Young and Grace Yang have been regularly sneaking out of their houses in the dark of night on spy missions. One night on the prowl with not much happening, the girls decide to investigate the yard of Sophie's school counselor. Through a window, they witness Dr. Agford chopping something very bloody with a cleaver. Although it turns out that she was only cutting up beets for a batch of her special pickled vegetables, Sophie and Grace still suspect that she is hiding something. ...more
Mark Baker
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This first in a new Middle Grade mystery series introduces us to two seventh graders who have decided they want to work for the FBI. They are practicing by spying on their neighbors, but the game turns serious when they see a neighbor committing a crime. Things may not be what they seem. Or they might be in some serious danger.

The book pulled me in with great main characters and a plot that gets very suspenseful as the book progresses. The target audience will definitely love it, and any adult w
Sheila Beaumont
What an awesomely entertaining mystery this is! The characters are wonderfully portrayed, especially the three brave, quirky, adventurous preteen girls who use their wits to solve the mystery. The story becomes more complex and suspenseful as it progresses, then builds to a thrilling and satisfying conclusion.

The Wig in the Window is a well-plotted, beautifully written tale, with great dialogue, and it's also very funny. Recommended for middle-graders, of course, but also for grown-ups who love
Suzanne Warr
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
One of my fav things to do as a young teen was go out at night--with my friends, of course, and often just playing kick the can. But those after-dark adventures were delicious because they felt scary but weren't really.

What Sophie and Grace discover is that safe can turn scary in half a heartbeat, and peeking and peering can lead to serious trouble, even in a sleepy little town and on your own street! Find the full review (plus the cat's two cents) on my blog, and let me know what you think!
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wig in the Window hit with a Modern Nancy Drew feeling. I loved the suspense of the girls going out and being spies and being GOOD AT IT. There were so many moments where I found myself feeling the same way I do as I watch my beloved horror movies... "Don't trust that person!" "what are you thinking??" "No, Girls!!" I loved it. The characters made me feel right at home since I too, used to be a teenage girl. I loved all of them, well, almost all of them. :)

This is a great pick for middle grades
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Children's Books: April 2017 - Wig in the Window - Kristen Kitschier 9 63 May 29, 2017 10:59AM  

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Kristen Kittscher is the 2014 James Thurber House Children's Writer-in-Residence and debut author of THE WIG IN THE WINDOW (Harper Children's 2013) and THE TIARA ON THE TERRACE (Harper Children's, 1/5/2016). Officially a native of Pittsburgh, Kristen grew up in over thirteen cities -- including San Francisco, Reno, London, and Dallas. She graduated from Brown University with a degree in Comparativ ...more

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