Parents' Guide to

The Postcard

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Unlikely but pleasant mystery with noir overtones.

Book Tony Abbott Mystery 2008
The Postcard Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Good read.

Very well-written story and a fun read. More appropriate for middle school aged kids. The main characters (2 kids) go running through the Tampa area unsupervised for hours at a time; getting into dangerous situations.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

When you reach the end of the book you'll realize that the mystery is rather contrived. But by then you won't really care, because you'll have had such a good time getting there. Adding to the fun is the story-within-a-story, nicely done in the deliberately dreadful style of '40s potboiler detective fiction. Because Jason and his friend Dia have to follow clues to find each chapter, the story is revealed to them (and to the reader) gradually, with much anticipation and cliff-hangers, just as the stories that were once serialized in newspapers and magazines used to do.

As with so many books for kids these days, the editors seem to be on holiday. The book's 358 pages is about 150 pages longer than it needed to be. But Abbott's prose style goes down so effortlessly, and the story is so compelling in a don't-think-too-closely-about-it sort of way, that young readers will hardly notice. This is like one of those mystery weekends -- clever clues, no real danger, a bit of silly melodrama, and absurd but fun characters straight out of B-movie casting. Jason and his family and friends deal with real problems and are likable in a realistic way; the rest is a load of very charming hooey.

Book Details

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