A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Real McCoys is the first in a well-illustrated series about a precocious crime-solving fourth-grader and her quiet but clever 7-year-old brother. Husband-and-wife team author Matthew Swanson and illustrator Robbi Behr weave text and images together in imaginative fashion, bringing Moxie's vivid imagination to life. As her name suggests, Moxie is confident -- but her enthusiasm and impulsiveness sometimes lead her astray. The McCoy family is loving and supportive, encouraging curiosity and honesty. Some adults at school are portrayed as comically hostile to children, and a couple of Moxie's classmates are pointedly mean to her.
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What's the story?
THE REAL MCCOYS introduces Moxie, an exuberantly confident fourth-grade detective who's in search of a replacement for her best friend (and crime-fighting partner), who moved away. It's a terrible time to have to work alone, too: The school's stuffed mascot, Eddie the Owl, disappears on the day of the big awards assembly. Moxie eagerly investigates, putting her reputation on the line to try to find Eddie and win the coveted Eddie Award. But figuring out whodunit keeps getting her in trouble -- and complicates her best friend search. To her surprise, her odd, quiet little brother may prove to be just the partner she needs.
Is it any good?
This remarkable new series brings a fresh style to the familiar girl-detective genre with a wonderfully spunky heroine and whimsical illustrations that make every page a delight to explore. In The Real McCoys, illustrator Robbi Behr shows Moxie's overactive imagination spilling over, onto, and through the energetic story written by her husband, Matthew Swanson. Silhouettes, dialogue bubbles, word art, and fanciful artwork are as lively and engaging as Moxie herself.
Confident and full of swagger, Moxie knows she'd be a better detective with a partner who has complementary talents. Her enthusiasm -- to solve the case and be recognized as a hero -- makes her a little sloppy, but her big heart and big goals win over even her exasperated principal. With its humor, wisdom, and bubbly art, this book is sure to appeal to even the most reluctant reader.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the blending of words and images in The Real McCoys. How is it different from other illustrated chapter books?
What makes Moxie a good crime-solver? What are her weaknesses?
Are you inspired by any favorite fictional characters, the way Moxie is inspired by Annabelle Adams?
- Author: Matthew Swanson
- Illustrator: Robbi Behr
- Genre: Humor
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Imprint
- Publication date: November 7, 2017
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 336
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: March 21, 2019
Our editors recommend
For kids who love strong girls and female detectives
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