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Book Reviews (Children's)

The Pasta Detectives by Andreas Steinhofel

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The Pasta Detectives by Andreas Steinhofel
Published by The Chicken House, 2010
First published in Germany under the title Rico, Oskar und die Tieferschatten

Reviewed by Miltown Malbay Library’s Children’s Bookclub.

Rico is an only child who lives in an apartment block in Berlin with his mother. As his mother works long hours Rico spends a lot of his time on his own as he has no friends other than his adult neighbours. He has been encouraged by his teacher to keep a diary as the summer holidays get underway. Rico is no ordinary child and his teacher believes that by keeping a diary it might help him make more sense of the world he lives in.

Circumstances change completely for Rico when out of the blue he meets Oscar. Rico and Oscar have two totally different personalities. Rico is sometimes laughed at because he doesn’t know his left from his right and mixes things up in his head, Oscar on the other hand is exceptionally gifted and clever and always careful. He even wears a helmet daily to keep himself safe.

The story develops when Rico and Oscar agree to meet at the apartment block one day. However, Oscar fails to turn up and Rico is very disappointed but then realises that Oscar may have been kidnapped. There have been several kidnappings of children in recent times and Rico receives news that the kidnapper is once again on the move so he believes that Oscar might be the next victim. Turning detective, Rico sets out to resolve the jigsaw of events of Oscar’s disappearance.

The members of the bookclub found this book amusing and an enjoyable read. They did not think the title ‘The Pasta Detectives’ to be very apt as finding the piece of pasta lying on the pavement only played a very minute part in the overall story.

Marks: 7 out of 10