When a shop burns down on Orange Street in Selinsgrove, nine-year-old Hilde follows the smoke. Hilde discovers that Mrs. Brown thinks her candles started the fire. She’s so upset that she won’t leave the house. Without Mrs. Brown, the town’s pet parade will be canceled. Can Hilde find a hot tip that will lead her to the true cause of the fire?
This fast-paced mystery comes to life with illustrations on every page. Like the previous books, Hilde uses real-life skills, models questioning skills, and shows the importance of being observant. In this story, Hilde also explains the importance of treating witnesses with tenderness and respect. She clearly cares more about people’s feelings than getting the scoop.
Younger readers will enjoy reading about the interesting characters, injured birds, and a fun pet parade. Besides investigating the fire, another mystery is added when the store owner’s parakeet disappears. The satisfying conclusion of the story is wonderfully illustrated. Readers will fall in love with the pets who are dressed up for the parade.
Short paragraphs, simple word choice, and black-and-white illustrations that appear on every page will keep younger readers engaged. Even though some characters reappear in each book, each story can be understood without reading previous books. Like the previous books, questions and activities appear at the end of the book. Readers will want to follow the clues and see if they can solve the mystery along with Hilde. Fire! Fire! is an engaging story that animal and mystery lovers will enjoy.
Drugs and Alcohol
- The “mean-agers” are a group of teenagers “known for their rotten attitudes.” When a bird poops on Hilde’s shirt, one of the mean-agers tells her, “It looks like we aren’t the only ones who think you make a better toilet than a reporter.”