The Bailey School Kids Series

Book review by
Carrie Kingsley, Common Sense Media
The Bailey School Kids Series Book Poster Image
Four adventurous friends solve mysteries in engaging tales.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

There's a little school-based academic content here, but there are lots of social-emotional lessons: The kids learn about trust, problem-solving, having a sense of humor, and sticking together during their adventures.

Positive Messages

Being curious is a good thing. Each person has special qualities that are valuable to the group. You can see differences as strengths. It's good to have a sense of humor when working together. Do what you can to keep your neighbors safe.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The best role models in the books are the kids themselves. The kids jokingly tease, but they're always supportive of one another. They all try to do the right thing, and each personality has something great to offer the group. There are almost no parents mentioned, and the adults in the stories are all peripheral characters.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Marcia Thornton Jones and Debbie Dadey's Bailey School Kids series is a bunch of playful adventures featuring inquisitive kids with boundless imaginations. The kids are largely unsupervised, but there's always a sense that parents are around and caring for them. Each of the friends has a different personality, and their differences are shown as strengths; no one's personality is seen as a negative. The vocabulary and storylines put the books a little below the upper end of the target age range, but they're fun, engaging reads.

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What's the story?

In the BAILEY SCHOOL KIDS series, Liza, Howie, Melody, and Eddie find adventure wherever they are in Bailey City. They're sure their town is creepier than it seems, that there are mysteries to be solved, and that they're the ones to do it. From protecting their neighbors from a guy who is definitely a swamp monster and another who is an Abominable Snowman, to trying to find out the true identity of a karate instructor and more, these kids have their imaginations -- and feet -- constantly in motion. 

Is it any good?

It’s nice to see the studious kids portrayed not as nerdy know-it-alls but as friends who like school and like to do well. These kids are balanced by the friend who wants to leave all homework until the last minute, but whose kindness, humor, and great instincts save the day more than once. All of the Bailey School Kids have a place -- a great message to send to young readers who might not love school either.

The stories are fast-paced and the vocabulary won't challenge older readers very much, but the younger ones will like being able to read most of the book without needing much help, and will likely be engaged the whole time.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how each of the Bailey School Kids has different skills and personality traits, and all are valued. Eddie and Howie approach school differently; is one portrayed as better or worse than the other?

  • Why do you think they don't check in with parents or other adults very often during their adventures?

  • What other adventure books have you read? 

Book details

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For kids who love mysteries and early reader series

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