Chapter Two is Missing

Book review by
Carrie Kingsley, Common Sense Media
Chapter Two is Missing Book Poster Image
Witty illustrations help bring funny mystery to life.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Lots of word repetition, and shows how words and letters are an important part of storytelling.

Positive Messages

Silliness is fun; keep looking for the answer even when the rest of the world seems crazy and out of sorts.      

Positive Role Models & Representations

The janitor and police officer are no help, but the narrator is persistent.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Josh Lieb's Chapter Two is Missing is a silly, engaging mystery that uses eye-popping illustrations as much as words to tell a story. The prime suspect in the hunt for the missing part of the book, the janitor, will delight young readers (and parents who are reading aloud) when he sweeps up letters and rearranges punctuation on the pages. This use of words as props in the story will remind emerging readers to pay attention to letters and sounds, and it's just plain fun to read. The black and white drawings enhance the narrator's frantic tone, and the yellow adds a nice comedic touch. The story is playful and witty -- and you'll need a mirror to solve the mystery!

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What's the story?

CHAPTER TWO IS MISSING takes a standard mystery and turns it backward -- literally. The narrator is frantically looking for the missing chapter in his book, and the detective on the case is useless. The hapless book janitor (because every book needs a janitor to keep the pages clean and tidy) is even less help, and soon becomes the prime suspect. As letters go missing and random pages of other stories start appearing, our narrator is even more determined to solve the mystery himself.

Is it any good?

Creative, energetic, and full of fun, this mystery is a unique take on storytelling that will delight young readers. Chapter Two is Missing weaves words and illustrations together with silly banter to make the book more about the behind-the-scenes making of the book than the mystery itself. Saying the words with missing letters makes reading aloud fun and entertaining, and here's a tip for anyone who wants to know the truth about Chapter 2: Unless the reader is proficient in reading backward, have a mirror handy to see how the mystery is solved.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how a story is affected by individual parts of it. When Chapter Two Is Missing, how did missing words and letters change the flow of the story?

  • Do you think that the janitor's way of taking revenge is funny, mean, or something else?

  • What are some of your favorite silly books?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and funny stories

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