These days there is only one thing coming down from the bookshelf when before bed reading time arrives: Nate the Great books. Written by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and illustrated by Marc Simont, the Nate the Great series centers on a boy detective, his loyal canine companion and his motley crew of oddball friends and their own pets. I've been familiar with the series for about forever now as the books are staples in the third grade reading diet and I spend a really healthy amount of time with people around nine years old in my professional life. However, I only recently decided to share Nate the Great with Mariam, thinking that she might enjoy the tongue-in-cheek tone of Nate's mystery solving adventures. It was a good bet; the girl is absolutely bananas for these books and in the last two weeks I think we have read about ten of them from front to back. Many of them more than once.
One of the things that I have always enjoyed about the Nate the Great series is the light-touch that the author uses to build suspense into the stories. I know we've talked a lot here on the blog about how very little dramatic tension my girl can stomach and in the past, books with any kind of suspenseful plot twist have been mostly rejected as a result. The books in this series, however, work with mysteries that are pretty low on the worry-induction scale. For the most part, the things that get lost are along the lines of favorite stamps and cookie recipes and the finding of these lost items usually happens before anyone can be too very upset about having lost them. These books are a good faith building exercise for kids who would do well to learn the literary convention that things generally turn out just fine in the end. Plus, they're funny.
There are a lot of books in the Nate the Great series and they are readily available in bookstores and libraries pretty much everywhere if our experience is any indication. I've also added a few to the bookshop in the event that you need help finding a few.