Two years ago, I wrote about how much I enjoyed the first of the Precious Ramotswe Mysteries, a new series by Alexander McCall-Smith sharing the childhood mysteries featuring Precious Ramotswe, the future Ladies’ Detective. I enjoyed the second and third in the series as well. Simple mysteries give the young children reading a chance to feel like detectives themselves, and the limited number of chapters and simple writing give them confidence in their reading abilities.
The most interesting part of these books are that they take place in Botswana, and Precious Ramotswe’s life-style and experiences are quite different from those that children understand in America today. I love how these books include discussion questions about life in Botswana, and I feel there is much the child can learn, even as they enjoy reading a simple chapter book.
The Mystery of Meerkat Hill is the second in the series. In this story, Precious makes new friends in her class at school, and she quickly learns that they are quite poor, and lack much in the way of comfort and support at home. As she befriends the new children in her class, however, she learns of a mystery she may be able to help solve when their cow becomes missing. I like the emphasis on friendship and the emphasis on helping those who lack the same things she has. There is much to be enjoyed about this simple story as Precious joins her friends and their meerkat at “Meerkat Hill” to solve this mystery.
The Case of the Missing Lion is the third installment in the series. In this book, Precious travels to her aunt’s home in a safari camp, where she can help the movie makers, who visit, in locating their lost show lion. I loved seeing Precious’ clever solutions to the simple problems she encountered, and I hope kids enjoy it too.
I look forward to what Precious the child-detective will solve next!
Note: I received a digital copy of The Case of the Missing Lion from the publisher for review consideration.