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Pepper's Rules for Secret Sleuthing

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4.26  ·  Rating details ·  35 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Nancy Drew meets Harriet the Spy in this action-packed and heartfelt debut middle grade following an overzealous amateur sleuth as she investigates a shocking family secret—and unravels the mystery of her developing feelings for girls.

Rule One: Your loyalty is to the case.

Amateur detective Pepper Blouse has always held true to this rule, even if it meant pushing people awa
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Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published September 29th 2020 by Simon & Schuster
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Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
Author pitched this as queer Nancy Drew for middle grade readers and this queer girl obsessed with Nancy Drew is d y i n g
Ms. Yingling
Aug 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ARC graciously provided by the author via Twitter contest!

Pepper and her father travel to her great-aunt Florence's house to help her Aunt Wendy settle the estate. Pepper's mother, a police detective, has passed away, and to honor her memory and feel close to her, Pepper has cultivated an interest in sleuthing, using her mother's Detective's Rulebook to guide her. Her father and aunt don't get along well, and her aunt is frazzled because of a recent divorce. Her cousin, Andrew, is not Pepper's f
...more
Heatherblakely
Oct 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, own
i really liked this and loved watching pepper work through some of her grief about her mom (who died when pepper was little) as well as her sexuality. the kids at school think she’s weird/don’t like her because of her sleuthing, and the first friend she makes at her great aunt’s is a trans boy and she also ends up with more sympathy for her whiny cousin by the end of the book. lots of good friendship stuff. my only hangup is that her mom was a cop. a detective, but called a cop several times and ...more
Frances Diederich
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgtbq
Nancy Drew but make her queer!!!!!!

This book is everything I wish I had when I was in middle school.
Kristin Lambert
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A charming, twisty mystery that I think would be especially great for kids on the younger end of the middle grade spectrum. I read so much Nancy Drew from age 8 to 10, and this definitely gives me a similar vibe, mystery-wise, but with modern sensibilities and stronger characterization. The three kids at the center of this story feel very whole and real, and are all grappling with big emotions. I loved the running theme of kindness and learning how to see things from another person’s perspective ...more
Brooke
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, mystery
This is a smartly written middle-grade mystery that is perfect for wannabe-detectives. The author manages to pack in all sorts of great stuff, including dealing with loss, figuring out a sense of self, and learning to see things from other people's perspectives. The main character has a strong voice and a really determined personality and was really fun to spend a few hours with. Highly recommended for mystery fans of all ages.
Neha Thakkar
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has the best earnest, eager, and hopeful main character who needs to solve the mystery. And maybe even keep her mom’s memory alive? I enjoyed this middle grade novel full of humor and heart!
Nicole Melleby
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Official blurb: McDonald has crafted a middle grade mystery for a modern audience, a debut chock full of heart that perfectly fills a much needed category for LGBTQ middle grade shelves. Pepper isn't just a queer Nancy Drew--she's a relatable and lovable character all her own.
Tanya
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished PEPPER'S RULES FOR SECRET SLEUTHING and I absolutely adored it! Reading this gave me some serious nostalgia for the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries I used to read as a kid. Except in this case, the mystery is all there with the added benefit of a modern upgrade. I especially appreciated the queer rep, which was done with so much nuance and care. Pepper is also the kind of MG main character that I love, smart, kind, inquisitive and determined. This would be a perfect read for ...more
Lizzy_Someone
This was uncomfortably pro-cop - not just in passing but pervasively, repeatedly, and explicitly. Other than that, I really enjoyed it and would recommend it if you are willing and able to compartmentalize, or, like, pretend the book is set in an alternate universe, cop-wise. I can see how to some extent this made artistic sense - the protagonist, Pepper, loves solving mysteries, so it's an obvious choice for her hero (her late mom) to be a professional detective. The book actually has a good op ...more
Bernadette McHugh
What a wonderful, energetic story! An engaging, smart LGBTQ female main character and some really well drawn supporting characters, this has a nice balance of outside mystery and internal mystery both being explored at the same time. I bought it for my 8 year old son but ended up reading it myself first!
Sophie
Oct 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the character and side characters a little predictable.
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Briana McDonald writes adventurous and diverse stories for young readers. Her debut, PEPPER'S RULES FOR SECRET SLEUTHING, will be available with Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers in Fall 2020. Briana is also the author of several published pieces of short fiction and is a book reviewer for The Literary Review. When she's not writing, she is an Academic Advisor at Columbia University. ...more

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