The Old Motel Mystery created by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Aldens are on vacation again, this time with Aunt Sara in Florida. There’s a friend who has an old motel and the Aldens are going to stay there a while. The friend is set on selling her motel when the Aldens get there, but they decidedly tell her that it isn’t going to happen. They start helping her fix up the place by getting new bedding and freezing tons of orange juice. The problem is that someone is thwarting their efforts. The power gets turned off. There is water leaking into one of the rooms. Someone dumped the oranges into the pool. Who could have done such a thing?
What I liked
I kind of like the idea of running a small hotel. It would be a job and a place to live, which is great because you never have to leave home to go to work and there’s more downtime than you would get at other jobs. Although, if you wanted to go on vacation to someone else’s hotel, you’d have to find someone to watch yours. Is there some sort of hotel swapping program for motel and hotel owners?
What I didn’t like
The person that ends up having done all of these things, doesn’t get any charges pressed against them. Some of this stuff is mostly harmless, but some of this stuff is damaging to property. It’s expensive to fix something on your house. At one point, the motel gets a new roof. With what money? Roofs are expensive. You can’t just go to someone’s house and be like, “You should put a new roof on it,” then go to the store and buy everything and get the new roof put up just like that. It’s tens of thousands of dollars for a new roof. Not everybody has that kind of money lying around like Grandfather. This makes me wonder if the Aldens ever understand the value of a dollar. Also, getting back to the perpetrator of these nefarious acts, you can’t just let someone cause you, at the least, a couple thousand dollars worth of damage, and not expect them to pay recompense in any way, either through financial repayment or legal action. I don’t think it’s the greatest example to children to let someone get away with something this big. There’s a possibility kids will be like, “Well, so and so in the book did it, and got away with it, maybe I can too.”
Who has so much freezer space that they can freeze orange juice, seemingly to last for months and months?
Would you ever own your own motel?
Do you feel like the Aldens get the idea of money and what a person can reasonably do with it?