Title: Concord Cunningham Coast to Coast
Author: Mat Halverson
Series: Concord Cunningham Mysteries (The Scripture Sleuth 4)
Major Themes: Bible, Mysteries, Road Trips, Christmas
Synopsis: As Concord Cunningham travels across the United States, he uses his Bible to solve mysteries.
When I was young, I loved the Encyclopedia Brown books. It was fun to read the short story, then try to figure out the solution to the mystery before turning to the back of the book to read the answer. Concord Cunningham is similar, with a twist. It’s also for older children; the stories are longer and a bit more involved than Encyclopedia Brown.
Concord’s father is a reporter for the newspaper in Pine Tops, Washington. He and his photographer brother, Concord’s Uncle Joe, take their children, Concord and his cousin Faith, to watch the pine tree be cut down that is destined to become the Christmas tree this year for the White House. They are surprised to find someone there already on snowshoes, even though no one was supposed to have known the location of the tree until an hour ago. When the man claims to have prevented the tree from being ruined by a saboteur, Concord finds a verse in his Bible that shows the man is lying.
After the tree is cut down, Concord, his father, his uncle and his cousin accompany the tree to Washington. All the way, they run into mysteries just begging to be solved—and Concord is always able to find a verse, using the concordance in the back of his Bible, that gives the answer. Look up the verse, and you will probably be able to figure out the mystery! The answer is also given in the back of the book.
I really liked this book, and I’m sure my 13-year-old, who loves Encyclopedia Brown, will love it, too. He’s been begging me to let him read it ever since he heard me hooting with laughter over one scene, but I told him I need to review it, so he has to wait. Otherwise, I knew I wouldn’t be able to find it when I needed it! If you have children who like to try to figure mysteries out, the Concord Cunningham series appears to be a winner. I like the way the Bible is used, too.
Now that my boy has read the book, I’ll add his opinion. He thought it felt like the Scripture verses were just stuck in so there would be some Bible in the book, that they didn’t do much for the story. He loved the book, though, and wants to read the rest of the series.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12