The multiplying mysteries of Mount Ten by Krista Van Dolzer
Bloomsbury, 2019. ISBN: 9781681197708.
(Age: 8 - 12) Esther, an aspiring 12-year-old artist has worked hard to get her art portfolio perfect and is on her way to attend a prestigious art camp in her holidays but finds herself at a Maths camp after getting hopelessly lost in a storm with her step-father.
She feels like a fish out of water at Camp Archimedes but after getting involved in some of the camp's puzzles and activities and then solving a very complicated brain teaser in a single day her confidence lifts.
So, when faced with the cryptic, threatening notes left for her and some of her fellow campers she resolves not only solve to the mystery but save the victims she thinks have been kidnapped, including her stepfather. Not knowing who she can really trust Esther works with the children who have found the notes and they show great cooperation skills as they work together to find a way to make the notes lead them to a solution.
The book provides the reader with a variety of good puzzles to solve along the way and if read to a class it would be entertaining to try to solve the puzzles along with the characters.
The characters were not as well developed as in some other books for this age group, but they are strong enough to make this an entertaining story. The story moves a little slowly at first but has a satisfying resolution and picks up the pace through the book to reach it.
The relationship Esther has with her stepfather Toby and the way they interact will resonate with the many children who are living in mixed families.
A side story about a character called the Fenimore Forger is not a necessary part of the overall story but perhaps the author has included it as an added interest for art lovers.
A good book for readers who like maths. Themes: Mathematics puzzles, Problem-solving, Friendship.