Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 4 - 6S5.127621
Ted Hammond loves a good mystery, and in the spring of his fifth-grade year, he's working on a big one. How can his school in the little town of Plattsford stay open next year if there are going to be only five students? Out here on the Great Plains in western Nebraska, everyone understands that if you lose the school, you lose the town.

But the mystery that has Ted's full attention at the moment is about that face, the face he sees in the upper window of the Andersons' house as he rides past on his paper route. The Andersons moved away two years ago, and their old farmhouse is empty, boarded up tight. At least it's supposed to be.

A shrinking school in a dying town. A face in the window of an empty house. At first these facts don't seem to be related. But Ted Hammond learns that in a very small town, there's no such thing as an isolated event. And the solution of one mystery is often the beginning of another.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published on May 20, 2008 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 0689866879
ISBN-13: 9780689866876
8 Book Reviews
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  • njreader
    njreaderSaturday, November 18, 2017 at 6:32 am55 stars
    I think you will like this book if you like Mysteries with a lot of action. i think you should also read other books by Andrew Clements, if you like to be sitting on the edge of your seat.
    • memoiloveit
      memoiloveitFriday, June 3, 2016 at 12:27 pm33 stars
      I like this book because I thought it was a good mystery book
      • langston_p
        langston_pThursday, February 25, 2016 at 3:10 am44 stars
        I really loved this book. It's about a kid named Ted who lives in a really tiny town. Lots of people are moving out and this means that the school now has only one room and only 9 students. Some people want to shut down the school but they can't do it until next year, which scares Ted and his teacher, Mrs. Mitchell. But one day, he discovers a family of 3 living in an abandoned house, and they are scared that the police will capture them and take them away, so they are hiding. Ted decides to keep it a secret and help them, and changes his city forever. It was a really good book and I really enjoyed reading it. It was really interesting and I thought the characters were really interesting, especially Ted.
        • anonymousn2800
          anonymousn2800Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 3:35 pm44 stars
          THIS IS A BOOK THAT SHOULD BE READ BY EVERYBODY 8 AND OLDER!!! This book has lots of emotion and feeling while adding mystery. I rate this book 4 stars because some of the book is kind of boring, although most of it is fun.In conclusion if you didn't read this book yet and you want to read one you should read this book.
          • tim0706
            tim0706Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 7:04 pm55 stars
            I loved this amazing book. It is really fun how Ted likes mysteries and he is in one. I Recommend this book and love it.
            • frankiebaby
              frankiebabyFriday, March 7, 2014 at 4:20 am
              that looks scary
              • ikyra_marie
                ikyra_marieTuesday, February 11, 2014 at 8:32 pm
                I love mysteries so this was a great book for me
                • susie
                  susieWednesday, February 20, 2013 at 7:02 pm55 stars
                  i decided to read it for fun. i thought it was very very very very fun and interesting. i always love mystery books.

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