Moxie isn’t afraid to stand up to mean girls, but when a mobster girl dressed in black leather shows up threatening her family, Moxie may have met her match. Moxie’s grandfather has some secrets. His has a shady past that has now come knocking. He has something a mobster wants, but the fact that he has Alzheimer’s is making things extra complicated. It is up to Moxie and her geocaching best friend, Ollie to find where it is hidden. To do this, Moxie must break a bunch of family rules, including spilling some family secrets to Ollie. She has two weeks to find the stolen art her grandfather hid for mobster, Sully Cupcakes, or her family could get hurt. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I am a big fan of Erin Dionne and this new book didn’t disappoint. Moxie is a tough, adventurous girl who loves her grandfather and handles it well when he gets confused about who she is. She doesn’t lament the fact that she has few friends, instead she has one great friendship that she celebrates. Moxie uses a math proof to organizer her thoughts while she tries to solve this problem and find the stolen art. Dionne continues to write about smart, interesting female characters. I highly recommend this book for anyone, not just mystery fans. Moxie has… well plenty of moxie!
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
Discuss the moment when Moxie sees her grandfather turn into a scarier version of himself. Do you have wonder about your grandparent’s lives and what they were like when they were younger?
Discuss Moxie’s friendship with Ollie. How will it change when they go to different schools? How having a boy as a BFF different from having a girl as a BFF?
Talk about keeping family secrets. Is that more important than safety for Moxie?
Discuss Moxie’s mother’s trouble with watching her father get worse. How do you think Moxie copes with the loss when her grandfather doesn’t know who she is?
Discuss geocaching. What would you hide for people to find? How does this fit the theme of the book?
Moxie struggles with telling her mom about the whole situation and letting her handle it. What would you do?
Talk about how Moxie isn’t afraid to be snarky with the mean girl, Jolie Pearson. How would you handle that situation?
Discuss this passage, “As the lies I told piled higher, Grumps and I were becoming more alike in ways I never expected.” (pg 147)
When Moxie is grounded, she is cut off from the internet. How would you problem solve or find information without technology?