“A fun mystery with a likable main character and a lot of red herrings.”
-School Library Journal, August 2012
• Silver Medal, Moonbeam Children's Book Awards, Juvenile Mystery Category (October, 2012)
• Mom's Choice Award Winner (June, 2012)
In a last-ditch effort to save Apple Valley Elementary's award-winning music program from looming budget cuts, the PTA plans to auction off a recently-donated, handcrafted cello at the school’s annual fund-raising dinner. Confidence is high—until the cello turns up missing the morning of the event. The school principal charges Chase Manning, a fifth grader who has dreamed of playing in the Sixth Grade Honors Orchestra his whole life, with finding the cello by three o'clock. Each hour of the school day involves surprising and suspense-filled plot turns as Chase pursues the elusive cello. This single-day, real-time mystery thriller truly is a Chase against time!
The Chase Manning Mystery Series features single-day, real-time thrillers that occur on an elementary school campus. Written for readers 8-12 years of age by National Board Certified Teacher Steve Reifman, the series launched with the award-winning Chase Against Time, in which fifth grader Chase Manning must investigate the mysterious disappearance of the cello that the school plans to auction off to save its prestigious music program. Chase Against Time has enjoyed rave reviews from children, parents, and teachers. Young readers love the book’s fast-paced, action-packed format while parents and teachers appreciate the book’s kid-friendly tone and content. Chase is now back in the eagerly anticipated sequel, Chase for Home.
Chase Against Time and Chase for Home are Level Q on the Fountas & Pinnell scale. Both books are ideally suited to be used as read alouds and mentor texts during Reading Workshop units on mystery and “edge-of-seat” fiction because they include numerous examples of end-of-chapter cliffhangers, red herrings, suspects, motives, and other important mystery elements. If you are interested in teaching children how to craft their own mysteries, check out Steve’s e-book, The Ultimate Mystery Writing Guide for Kids.
Steve has held many Book Talk and Book Signing Events at public libraries, elementary schools, and private homes since the release of Chase Against Time; During these 30-45 minute book talks, Steve describes the process of writing his mystery books, shares his original notes and outlines, encourages children to pursue their own writing projects, offers instructional strategies and suggestions, and concludes with a question and answer period. Steve is also available for classroom Skype visits. To arrange an event, please e-mail Steve.