Reviews for Closed for the Season
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Fall
Thirteen-year-old Logan's family moves to a small Virginia town in which an unsolved murder took place. Logan and his nerdy neighbor Arthur team up to try to solve the mystery; a sinister, shuttered theme park called Magic Forest plays a central role. This eerie, atmospheric story is as much about friendship and fitting in (or not) as it is about murder. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2009 May #1
Thirteen-year-old Logan Forbes will have a lot to say in his "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" report in seventh grade next fall. His family has moved into a house known as the "murder house," he's made friends with nerdy outcast Arthur Jenkins and the boys have teamed up to help solve a murder and find embezzled money hidden in the nearby Magic Forest, a theme park now bankrupt and fallen into nightmarish disrepair. Though the murder mystery is the hook, this is really a story of two outsiders becoming friends played out in the small Virginia town of Bealesville, as Hahn capably dissects social strata of the town and school. The first-person voice serves the story well, though Logan occasionally seems too young for his observations. As always, the author is brilliant at establishing tone--eerie, creepy and surreal. The "cold case" mystery, the over-the-top fun of the Magic Forest scenes and the even darker mysteries of friendship and school life will make this a sure hit. (Mystery. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Reviews 2009 September
Gr 5-8--Another well-done, action-packed mystery from Hahn. This book starts off as seventh-grader Logan Forbes learns that a murder had been committed in his family's new house three years earlier. Myrtle Donaldson, a bookkeeper accused of embezzling from the local amusement park, was found dead in her ransacked house and her killer is still at large. Logan's next-door neighbor, Arthur Jenkins, a sixth grader with a bottomless stomach and a quirky personality, is convinced that Mrs. Donaldson was falsely accused, and he wants Logan to help him find the real perpetrator. The boys discover a letter and puzzle left among the woman's possessions that convinces them they are on the right track. Their investigation includes visiting the abandoned and overgrown Magic Forest amusement park, a reporter with secrets, shady property developers, a menacing convict, and purloined library materials. It all culminates in a terrifying nighttime showdown among the kudzu at the Magic Forest where the truth is revealed. This is an enjoyable mystery with just the right amount of frightening and dangerous elements to entice readers. Logan is a sympathetic character--a new kid in town trying to find his place in the pecking order, almost immediately befriended by someone on the lowest rung who turns out the be the right friend for him.--Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA [Page 160]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2009 October
Hahn creates a wonderful, fast-paced tale for adventure and mystery fans, in which Logan Forbes finds himself moving into a run down house in Bealesville, a new town outside of Richmond, Virginia. Before he even enters his new home, he learns from the boy next door that it is known as the "murder house." The previous owner was Mrs. Donaldson, who three years prior was found dead at her cellar steps and her house ransacked. Despite the weird factor of Logan's new neighbor, Arthur Jenkins, they become fast friends with similar hobbies like reading, exploring, and staying away from sports. They begin to discover clues as to what happened to the missing money from the local "closed for the season" and recently sold amusement park, the Magic Forest, where the late Mrs. Donaldson worked. Logan and Arthur must overcome local bullies, strains of new friendship, being social misfits, dangers of exploring a condemned amusement park, and gathering enough evidence to prove Mrs. Donaldson's innocence and catch the killer embezzler before starting a new school year without being labeled losers. This story has a great combination of plot, setting, and characters. Readers will enjoy trying to solve the murder mystery while identifying with the social misfortunes of being unpopular, entering middle school, and moving into a new town. It is a worthy addition to any popular fiction collection. This novel is a page turner with an engaging main character in Logan Forbes and his crazy sidekick Arthur.--Karen Sykeny. 4Q 4P M J Copyright 2009 Voya Reviews.