The Mystery of the Silver Statue by Raymond C. Perkins Jr is an engaging, enjoyable read. Directed towards a youth audience, it involves two eighth grade friends who live in an idyllic Norman Rockwell community.
The boys make extra cash by monitoring local properties under the name J&B Security. Their overhearing a cryptic discussion by two strangers revs up their sleuthing engines and sets them on a daring secret adventure that is almost more than they can handle.
This youth mystery novel promotes itself as partly being about a boy who "struggles with a disability and learns to appreciate his own strength". True. B.T. has experienced health issues beyond the scope of most children, with some physical and emotional residue. Considering he can ride a bike and do things most kids can, albeit slower and with a little less energy, presenting him as disabled is a stretch. B.T. easily comes across as a good kid with an extraordinary past who is used to trying hard and not as a victim of his "disability"
This said, The Mystery of the Silver Statue is a good, well-written story with a timeless approach and a certain innocence and purity reminiscent of bygone days. It contains enough mystery, mischievousness , and light drama to keep the target audience entertained from beginning to end. Adults may even enjoy a read-along. Don't be surprised to see more from Perkins.
Regarding this youth mystery being promoted as "a classroom tool": It is worthy of discussion but beyond its limited and specific historical interest it is no more or less significant than any other book offering so obvious life lessons and moral guidance.
Other Raymond C. Perkins Jr. Reviews
The Mystery of the Brick Kingdom: The Mystery of the Brick Kingdom captures the exuberance of youth, and is a great book for an early teen audience.
The Mystery of hte Haunted Opera House: Exciting and suspenseful, The Mystery of the Haunted Opera House is a great adventure novel for pre- and early teens.