Poetry Plot – Edgar Allen’s Official Crime Investigation Notebook

Edgar Allen’s Official Crime Investigation Notebook by Mary Amato

Publisher: Holiday House, 2011
Material: Paperback
Genre: mystery, poetry, friendship, life lessons

The thief is a poet – or is it a poetry thief? First Slurpy, then a keychain … Ms. Herschel’s classroom is a thief magnet! Convinced that he will solve the crime first, Edgar Allen starts a notebook. H isn’t Wordsmith Elementary’s only junior detective. Solving the crime becomes a contest and testament to friendship, judging others, and jumping to conclusions!

Interest level: 7 to 12. Recommended Ages:

  • read together: 7 to 10
  • read yourself: 9 to 12

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud

Parent Reader: I loved this book!  We see the world largely through Edgar’s eyes, not just at school, but at home too. The word play, references to great poets, and “revisions” of their work makes this all the more unique. This is a fractured fairy tale, but poetry!

Bottom Line: The students in Ms. Herschel’s class are authentic and the story is fun. When you put it all together: mystery + humor + short chapters + rhyme – you have a story that is a great choice for all readers. The story is easily followed and would make a nice selection for mixed age audiences, too.

Our Recommendation: Buy. This is one of the few mysteries we’ve found where you’ll want to go back to the book even after you’ve solved the mystery. The poetry plot makes it fun to re-read the clever, original poetry that peppers the story.

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Educational Themes:

This is a poetry plot at its best! There are  plot weaves tons of poems and poetry concepts woven into the story. Whether you pull them out as you read along or go back and study them after the mystery is solved, you have a lot to work with to bring this book to life.


1. The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book was given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

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