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Double Trouble Squared: A Starbuck Twins Mystery    by Kathryn Lasky Amazon.com order for
Double Trouble Squared
by Kathryn Lasky
Order:  USA  Can
Harcourt, 2008 (1991)
Hardcover, Paperback

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Kids' mysteries are always fun reads and Kathryn Lasky's Double Trouble Squared is no exception. Liberty and July Starbuck are as identical as two opposite-sex fraternal twins can be. And they share something besides looks they can communicate with each other through telepathy. Their younger sisters, Charly and Molly (another set of twins), also share this talent, but mainly just get on their siblings' nerves.

Abnormal as the Starbuck family is, it is about to become more so when their father gets a job in England. Their mother cannot move overseas but agrees to let the kids go with their nanny, Zanny. While in England, July insists on visiting all the haunts of his favorite fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. As Liberty tags along, she realizes that something is interfering with their psychic connection. To make matters worse, an evil villain seems to be stalking them, using Sir Author Conan Doyle's very words. Things really heat up when the twins discover yet another voice communicating with them ... centered around their bedroom. Now they must put all they know about Sherlock Holmes to the test in order to solve the mystery.

Double Trouble Squared is a fast-paced, creepy mystery that will have young readers on the edges of their seats. Lasky knows how to reach a middle-school audience with situations that are spooky and mysterious enough to grab the reader but not scare him or her away. The only thing that may escape the target audience is the Holmesian references. While many kids have seen some sort of cartoon adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles and will at least know who Doyle's main characters are, the stories on which Double Trouble Squared focuses (The Sign of Four and The Speckled Band) might be obscure to younger readers.

Kids who are looking for fun summer reading should definitely check out Double Trouble Squared. Although Kathryn Lasky originally wrote the story over fifteen years ago, it will still excite today's readers.

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