Sunday 21 July 2013

Book Review of The Bayshore Mysteries: The Secret Graveyard by Jerrye Sumrall


Something strange is happening in Beatrice! 

First a mysterious boy appears. Then unusual carved figures are found. Later, slave journals are discovered and then a secret map. Where does the map lead? Will Jeff and Melissa solve the mystery about the strange boy? Could it be connected to the secret map?

Jeff Douglas and new friend Melissa are thrown into a series of mysteries and adventures when he comes to visit his great grandfather in Beatrice, Alabama. Beatrice, a small southern town whose past holds many secrets, is just part of the mystery. Other secrets are revealed when they pursue a strange African-American boy, discover unusual carved figurines, find old slave journals, and then a secret map. Further adventures find them exploring an old courthouse, getting lost in the woods and trapped in a train tunnel. Their quest to find the truth takes them on a mysterious and scary journey into the past.


The Bayshore Mysteries: (The Secret Graveyard  #2).The Bayshore Mysteries: (The Secret Graveyard #2). by Jerrye Sumrall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a fantastic mystery story for middle grade children from ages 9 to 12. I loved it!

Jeff Douglas is an inquisitive and courageous young man. He may be only eleven, but he makes a pretty good detective! I liked him very much! When he goes to stay with his Great Grandfather, he doesn't realise what adventures await him!

Having previously read Intruders on Battleship Island, I was eager to read the next book in the series. The story took me into an adventure filled with history. As I am not American, the history of the slave trade and the "railroad" to freedom was extremely interesting to me. I loved how the story is woven together with a journal and a mysterious map to the Secret Graveyard - where the slaves met with sympathizers to help them escape. However, I did find that the history aspect of the story outweighed the mystery part. I would have loved to had more danger or action in this tale, to give it some "OOMPH!", but I am an adult, so what do I know! Children may enjoy this tale for what it is, an exciting adventure into history. I really enjoyed the story! I was hooked from the first page! Slavery was, and is, a terrible issue, and is still relevant today. But, the modern slave traders are extremely more sophisticated and sneaky than their predecessors, mores the pity!
I am now looking forward to reading the third book in the series, The Mystery of the Wragg Swamp.

Jerrye Sumrall has written an exciting mystery series for children that will keep them entertained and educated. She is obviously a lover of history, as it shines through her work. Her writing style is fast paced, but easy enough for young readers to read on their own.

I highly recommend this book (and series) to children between the ages of 9 to 12 who love mysteries and adventure. - Lynn Worton

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