Andi Under Pressure (An Andi Boggs Novel)
by Amanda Flower
Edited by Kim Childress
Cover Artist: Chris Coady
Review by Gayle Surrette
Zonderkidz Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780310737025
Date: 07 October 2014 List Price $10.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Andora 'Andi' Boggs and her older sister, Bethany, have been living with their aunt Amelie since the death of their parents. Andi has made friends with Colin Carter -- the boy next door, who lives with his parents and grandmother, and is also into science, reading, and solving mysteries. Bethany is simply pining for her old friends and her old neighborhood, making the transition to living with their aunt difficult on all of them.
Andi and Colin are attending Discovery Camp held at the local college, where Andi's aunt works as a Literature professor. The two friends are even in the same group, Hydrogen, so will get to stay together all day. On their first day, Andi notices an old man working on the grounds. Colin says his name is Polk and he always has his dog, Curie, with him.
Also on the first day of camp, one of the professors complains that supplies are missing. Another professors says that all the chemicals in her storage area have been rearranged. Later there were some accidents. Andi wonders if these are really accidents, or planned by someone.
Andi has her suspicions about who might be responsible for the accidents. She thinks it might be the girl in their group who seems to have it in for her. The police thinks Polk is to blame. The professors think it's just forgetfulness and unluckiness. So, Calin and Andi begin to investigate.
Andi and Colin make a great team. They use logic and research to determine who could commit the crimes and then set up some experiments to check on whether they are right or wrong.
While this is for middle grade readers, the story is multi-threaded and the mystery convoluted enough to make it challenging. Best of all, Andi and Colin don't run off on adventures without taking some care that they'll be safe. They talk to adults and ask questions of the right people. Readers can follow their reasoning and the results -- some may even figure it out before them based on the clues that are written into the narrative story line.
This looks like a nice series to interest young readers in the mystery/adventure genre and maybe even in science and technology.