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7 Ate 9: The Untold Story
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7 Ate 9: The Untold Story

(Private I #1)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,373 ratings  ·  375 reviews
6 has a problem.

Everyone knows that 7 is always after him. Word on the street is that 7 ate 9. If that's true, 6's days are numbered. Lucky for him, Private I is on the case. But the facts just don't add up.

It's odd.

Will Private I put two and two together and solve the problem . . . or is 6 next in line to be subtracted?
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 16th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  1,373 ratings  ·  375 reviews

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May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun play on words and a little math humor too! Cute set-up as a detective story that seeks to solve the mystery of the age-old question "Why is 6 afraid of 7?" ...more
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books

Even though my nephew called 7 Ate 9 the “math book”, he still had fun. :)

“Word on the street is that 7 ate 9!
And now he’s after me,” said 6.

“Well, technically, he’s always after you,” I said.
“There’s 5, then 6, then 7.”

7 ate 9 is a fun play on words with a hard-nosed, old school detective voice and mystery. The case of the missing number nine has Detective “I” (*giggles*) hitting the streets asking numbers and letters what they know and what they’ve seen.

Did 7 really eat 9? Are 6’s days number
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Private eye I (yes, that's his name) must solve the mystery of the missing 9. This is a book to read slowly, chuckle, and then read again. Anyone who loves wildly delightful word play (and number play, if there is such a thing) needs to read this one. ...more
Jul 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
Chock full of puns by Tara Lazar and clever illustrations by Ross McDonald, this book turns the age-old joke of "Why was 6 afraid of 7? ... Because 7 ate 9" into a mystery that needs to be solved by Private I. Not sure why we needed any other letters in this book about numbers though. ...more
This book was HILARIOUS! From the cover I had no idea that I was going to enjoy it. It came out in 2017, but it definitely has an older look to it. I've heard the jokes that go "why was six scared of seven? Because seven ate nine." I was really happy to to see that this joke was the basis for the book. The play on words literally made me laugh out loud. I enjoyed the fact that the author decided to include numbers as well as letters. I think that this book does attest to the fact that sometimes ...more
Aug 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Pun Lovers / Picture-Book Readers Who Enjoy a Good Mystery
That alphabetic investigator, Private I, receives a visit from a distraught numeral 6 in this punny picture-book mystery. The rumor is that "7 ate 9," and 6 worries that he's next. Private I immediately sets out to investigate, soon discovering that all is not what it seems in the world of numbers...

I found 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story to be an absolute hoot, enjoying all of author Tara Lazar's many clever puns, and finding illustrator Ross MacDonald's accompanying artwork well-suited to the humor
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pbf-general
As good as Tough Cookie by David Wisniewski. "Hard-boiled" detective fiction for the picture book crowd, featuring letters, numbers, and loads of puns. ...more
Brenda Kahn
Read this punny mystery with your best "Just the facts ma'am" voice. Younger kids might not get much of the humor but middle school kids will. ...more
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Solid, punny entry in the Picture-Book-About-PIs genre. My fave is still Pigeon P.I., but if you like math puns, this one may be for you. ...more
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, firstreads
I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

A wonderful children's book that is a parody of a PI novel. The illustrations are great as well.
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Haha! So funny! A definite must read for a good pub book!
D'Iberville Library
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A puntastic book of numbers! Every page has mathematical puns sure to entertain kids as well as adults.

This story follows a Private Detective shaped like an I named Al F. Bet as he tries to solve the mystery of what happened to 9. In a very detective noir plot, 6 rushed into the office upset because 7 was after him. This plot develops unexpectedly but Al is not irrational...(See what I did there?)...he knows that there is more going on than meets the eye.

Highly recommended!
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
This was a creative play on the numbers as a murder mystery. No numbers were harmed in this story.
Lynn  Davidson
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
7 Ate 9: The Untold Story is a very entertaining story. And how can it not be, having been written by Tara Lazar?

Private I is asked by the number 6 to help him. He has heard that 7 Ate 9, and he is scared 7 would soon be after him. Private I pointed out that 7 is always after him – as in 5, 6, 7. That fact doesn’t console 6 and he fears his days are numbered as both 7 and 9 seem to be missing!

Private I goes to the café for a slice of pi. (No, I didn’t mean to type pie.) The waitress, whose name
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
This is a book that is cute and clever, but may be trying too hard to be too many things. If a parent is reading this book to a child, the parent and child will laugh at different things in the story. Too many letter and number jokes will go over the heads of younger children, and the noir detective setting is a little odd in this case, which initially appears to involve violent cannibalism among numbers.
Of course, that's based on a traditionally awful joke, so you're not supposed to take it ser
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE THIS BOOK! Not only is this a mystery (detective story) book, but there are so many plays on words and numbers that I had to read it a second time and still am not sure if I caught them all. There's a cafe that serves great pi, 7 being such an odd number, and 8 disguising herself as the number 0 (by removing her belt). Smart humor is my favorite humor, and this book is full of it! (Also I can't get over the fact that the private eye is the letter I. lol) ...more
I usually find puns annoying if clever. This book is riddled with puns--and I enjoyed every one of them! Lots of laughs. Kids will probably not catch every single one, but should catch enough to find the humor aside from the fun story that plays on the classic joke. Adults will have a good laugh seeing all of them. Quite fun. Maybe fun to share in storytime if I do a numbers lit moment beforehand to remind them of the number order.
Alex  Baugh
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
It all begins when a very scared 6 runs into the office of Private I of the Al F. Bet detective agency and tells him that word on the street is that 7 ate 9 and now 7 is after him. After taking the case, Private I tells 6, "Stay here. I'll get to the root of this." "I hope so!" says 6. "I fear my days are numbered." What follows is a caper that sounds like it is straight out of a 1940s film noir mystery as Private I tries to find clues about 9's disappearance. It has the same kind of hard-boiled ...more
Mathematical PI mystery, complete with LOTS of math jokes and puns. This would go over best as a read aloud for elementary students who are familiar with concepts like odd and even numbers, multiplication/division, etc. Also a great gift for any math lover.
Sarah Reese
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anybody who likes puns
This book is just too cute! It practically forces you to pick it up and read it no matter your age.

We've all heard that timeless joke, "Why was 6 afraid of 7?" "Because 7 ate 9."
This book takes the opportunity to turn the question into a mystery that needs to be solved by Private I.

Full of all kinds of puns for words and numbers, this is sure to entertain the adult as well as the child they're probably reading it too.

Highly recommend.
Brooke Beeson-King
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So very clever with lots of word play and puns.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Run read aloud and great puns.
Chance Lee
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-it
Cute detective story with letters, numbers, and wordplay. I can believe that numbers and letters are anthropomorphic noir subjects, but not that 11 exists in a world with 1. How does even work?!
Nancy Kotkin
Exponentially funny detective story about numbers. A mystery full of arithmetic puns and mathematical references that kids will love to hunt and identify.
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great punny twist on a classic children's joke that will amuse little ones and parents alike. ...more
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this witty picture book featuring a Private I detective and a zany cast of numbers. So many fun puns!
What a fun and clever picture book this is! Written in the style of an old-time detective story, the number 6 comes to the office of a private investigator to get help. 6 was sure that 7 was out to get him, since 7 ate 9, and he was always after 6. This sets off a whole mystery filled with number puns! The illustrations are also drawn with old-style city scenes. This will get lots of laughs and giggles from young readers!
The Library Lady
Your 2 year old or for that matter your 4 year old, won't get "good Pi" or "B negative" or most of the jokes in this book, however your school age kids will, and should enjoy the wit here. ...more
Maria Marshall
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is packed full of puns and math jokes. Ross MacDonald played along with Tara Lazar and added many gags into the illustrations. For instance, a slice of pi, for the price of $3.14. And the private detective's name painted on the door - Inspector Al F. Bet. Even the end papers are a masterful series of puns - 7 is "the prime suspect." Tara also managed to cram the story full of sayings related to the numbers (seventh heaven & nine lives). This books begs for multiple reads, just to catch ...more
Joanne Roberts
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
There was a lot of plot and tons of puns in this tongue-in-cheek noir mystery. The nostalgic illustrations added to the playful tone and strengthened the forward motion of the story. I'm not sure how the target age will react, but I think parents will enjoy reading this aloud. The author even managed to squeeze some plot twists into the book. Clever endpapers too. ...more
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Street magic performer. Award-winning ice sculptor. Hog-calling champion. These are all things Tara Lazar has never been. Instead, she writes stories for children featuring quirky characters and hilarious happenings. Tara writes the 7 ATE 9 series of picture books from Little Brown, illustrated by Ross MacDonald. Her next book is BLOOP, about an alien who comes to conquer earth but thinks the dogs ...more

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