But Ju faces a completely different kind of mystery when a genetics assignment forces her to investigate the cold hard fact that her frizzy blonde hair and amber eyes don’t match the shades of brown that run in her family. This is one case she wishes she didn’t have to solve. Only there’s no escaping the Blueprint of Life Project, so Ju searches the attic for family documents she needs to complete her schoolwork. Instead, she discovers strange clues that make her wonder if her parents are keeping a huge secret.
Ju’s amateur sleuthing and a confrontation with her parents finally lead to the cold hard facts about her past. And even though her life changes forever, she’s still the same mystery-loving girl she’s always been.
Reviewed by: CeliaRating: 3.5 stars
Review: Justina (or “Ju”), a precocious 7th grader with a crafty mind. With her two friends, she joins a club for young sleuths that meet once a week and solves mysteries throughout the school. The mystery: Who vandalized the school? Clues are splayed throughout the book as Ju tries to put the pieces together while, at the same time, contending with school work and family obligations. Of course, the greatest mystery of all concerns her own DNA. Who is Ju, indeed?
Characters and language are amusing and simply rendered specifically for targeted audience. Certain areas lagged a bit with superfluous, childish banter, which would be relatable for today’s youth; however, I felt that some of it didn’t really push the story forward. I enjoyed the inquisitive collaboration of the little detectives. It almost reminded me of those cryptic mysteries on Where on Earth is Carmen San Diego? In fact, Ju is a regular “Harriet, the Spy.” She’s reserved but also daring. Kids would surely like her.
Overall, I thought the book was well-written and easy to relate.
Smart and fun, this book would be a good read for any pre-teen youngster.