S. & S./Paula Wiseman. Jan. 2023. 304p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781665905350.
Gr 3-7–Eleven-year-old Arthur, is named after King Arthur, lives in Colorado, and helps his family by working at their junk store, Universal Trash. He is not seen as brave and sometimes gets made fun of at school. One day he stumbles upon a broken teacup that was stolen in the past but could help him solve a crime. Arthur has help from a group made up of his sister, best friend, the ghost of his sister’s pet mouse, and a police officer. Can Arthur become brave and solve the mystery with his group of companions? Kids will enjoy reading about Arthur because he is a very relatable character and visibly grows through the novel. The relationship Arthur has with his younger sister seems very real—they bicker like siblings but play together as well. The book could also be a source of a classroom or family discussion: Arthur’s grandfather is portrayed as racist and classist when he looks down on Juan, Veda’s mother’s boyfriend, applies to work at Universal Trash. Some readers may recognize their own family members in this exchange, prompting useful conversation around pushing back against outdated viewpoints.
VERDICT A fun mystery adventure with small openings for important conversations about racism and more.

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