Mike’s Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Alden children are visiting grandfather’s uranium mine; yes, you read that correctly, a uranium mine. The uranium mine is fairly new. Some was discovered on the Alden property so the family started a mine, which came to include an entire town. The Alden’s have a friend there named Mike, although he doesn’t always get along with Benny, the youngest Alden boy.
The family isn’t there long before something terrible happens–Mike’s house burns down. The family escapes, which is great, but Mike’s mother can no longer make money because she can’t take in washing anymore. She makes great pies though. The family soon finds places to stay, but a rumor goes around. Someone says that Mike started the fire himself, just for fun. This isn’t true at all, especially since the fire started in the basement, where Mike’s dog was.
Mike and Benny decide to put aside their differences and help Mike’s mom start a pie business, but also figure out who in the heck actually started that fire. It was awfully strange that the fire seemed to have started on all four sides of the basement at the same time. Soon the children start to hear about some people who don’t like their grandfather. Could those people have started the fire?
What I liked
Who in the world has a uranium mine? I think it’s interesting. I’m not sure that it’s very likely, but it’s interesting.
What I didn’t like
Isn’t uranium… dangerous? You know, like radio-active? Like, it can cause cancer? Right?
I don’t think children should be around a uranium mine, or that many adults. You certainly shouldn’t be making pies and selling them near a uranium mine.
I feel bad that this kid’s house burned down, even if he may have been a brat. That’s an awfully big loss for a family.
Don’t start a fire near a uranium mine.
Would you work at a uranium mine?
Would you eat a pie made at a uranium mine?