6.02.2014

Review: The Feather Chase by Shannon L. Brown

Title: The Feather Chase
Author: Shannon L. Brown
Cover Illustrator: Jeanine Henderson
Publication Date: February 6th, 2014
Publisher: Sienna Bay Press
Genre: Children's, Middle Grade Fiction
Pages: 216
Source: Paperback from Author
Rating:

Synopsis (from Goodreads): 
They start chasing a mystery - then it chases them.

Twelve-year-old cousins Sophie and Jessica don t have much in common. Sophie loves hiking and her small town. Jessica would rather be shopping in a city. The only mystery is how they ll be able to spend the summer together. 



Then they find a briefcase in the forest with a surprise inside. When they hear footsteps behind them and bad guys run after them, they have no choice but to work together to solve the mystery of The Feather Chase.

A | B&N | Gr




I read and read as a kid, particularly every mystery I could find. I didn't plan to be a writer though. I first earned a degree in communications then a second degree in education. But I didn't end up working in either field. I wrote my first book, a clean romance, shortly after earning those degrees in the 1980s but it wasn't published.


Fast forward to a day some years later when I was driving and an image of a briefcase filled with feathers popped into my mind. I knew it was the idea for a children's mystery and "The Feather Chase" was born.


I wrote it while I worked in unrelated fields. I also began writing magazine articles on the side and gradually moved to doing that full-time. I'm now an award-winning writer, have sold more than 600 articles for local, national and regional publications and, until I resigned to finish the book, was the contributing editor for a jewelry publication. (Which tells you, you never know where life may take you.)


I stepped back from most of that writing to edit "The Feather Chase" and see it published in February of 2014. It's a fun mystery and the first in the Crime-Solving Cousins Mystery series. Now I'm using the classes in communications to write and those in education to speak to children about writing.

        Do you remember the Mary Kate and Ashley Mystery series? I used to love those books, and I even had the movies that went along with them. Jessica and Sophie in The Feather Chase are the new dynamic duo for solving crimes! And I mean it when I say dynamic! Jessica is a city girl, laced with adornments, frills, and trimmings who doesn't like to get dirty. Sophie loves the great outdoors and can smell an adventure a mile away, whether it actually exists or not. 

I really enjoyed this book! It was so much fun to read and I enjoyed solving the mystery right along with the protagonists! Brown does a beautiful job of adding many different elements to her story to keep the reader interested and add a tiny bit of depth. 

I loved the scene where Sophie finds out that Jessica is not a morning person, and the have some tension before it's resolved. I totally remember things like that happening with my friends or cousin, silly little misunderstandings we had. It made the book more relatable and even provided a lesson to learn.

The storyline itself was entertaining and didn't at all seem drawn out or wordy. It moved at the perfect pace, especially for a young reader.

The only thing I would note is that sometimes the approach for describing what things looked like seemed a little off. Like when Jessica was describing the layers of milkshake, it almost seemed out of character and I felt slightly jolted out of the story when things like that happened. I think there could probably be a better way to propose that. It wasn't awful, but that's my constructive criticism for this book! :)

Also, I'd like to mention the COVER. I absolutely love it! It just makes me happy. It's interesting and fun, and it makes you want to read it!  If you ever get the chance, visit the illustrator's website because she does a lot of great work that needs to be seen. 

At the end of the book you can also engage in an interactive puzzle! If you don't want to write in the book, however, the author also provides the puzzle and other activities on her website.

I seriously loved this book! I'm a sucker for children's and middle-grade books so this was right up my alley. It's perfect for elementary-age kids. Speaking of which, if you go to the author's website you will see that she does school visits. If you have the chance, you should hop on this opportunity.

A fun book for middle-grade or lower, unless you're an adult who loves children's books, then you'll enjoy jumping into the adventure, too!