Back of the Bookshelf – The Mystery of Disney World by Carole Marsh


Title: The Mystery at Disney World

Author: Carole Marsh

Publisher: Gallopade

ISBN: 9780635021045

From Amazon:

What was supposed to be a vacation for four real kids at Walt Disney World turns into a wild ride as first one kid disappears, then another, and there’s only one left to solve the mystery!Renaissance Learning, Inc now has Accelerated Reader quizzes for all of the Carole Marsh Mysteries!

I got the urge to stop by the library and browse the shelves for new titles to read.  I love just wandering through the aisles, stopping and looking at any book that catches my eye.  I don’t go with a specific book in mind, I just drift around and grab whatever looks interesting.  This gave me an idea for a new feature – The Back of the Bookshelf – where I will randomly check out a book from my local library and post a review.  There are some pretty interesting tomes floating around in the shelve. Especially at my library.  There are books from what seem like before I was born, mixed among brand new glossy releases.  I know that there is a buried treasure trove of wonderful stories – if only I can uncover them!

Why did I pick The Mystery at Disney World? The book had two alluring words in the title, and I just couldn’t resist checking it out.  What caught my attention?  DISNEY WORLD in big old letters.  Disney World is one of my favorites places on the entire planet (yeah, I realize that is a lot of area to consider, and I haven’t actually been to but a very small and insignificant percentage of it).  I checked the book out after determining that it is a mystery that takes place in the happiest (albeit most expensive) place on Earth.  The only thing that would have been better is if the characters had gone park hopping too.  Nope, they stayed within the Magic Kingdom, my least favorite of all of the Disney theme parks.  EPCOT is my favorite, followed by Animal Kingdom, just in case you were wondering.

I will acknowledge right away that this book probably won’t hold a lot of appeal unless you are a Disney nut.  The plot is extremely contrived, and it skates on a paper thin edge of substance and depth.  It’s not so much about Christina and Grant on vacation with their grandparents as it is about the Magic Kingdom.  As Christina’s brother and friends are spirited away, one after another, she races from one popular attraction to the next in search of clues.  If you have no interest in the theme park, or the attractions that I have spent a ridiculous amount of time waiting to ride, you aren’t going to find much entertainment value as the story unfolds.  Disney factoids are worked into the story, and even I learned a few new tidbits about the park. 

The Mystery of Disney World is a quick, light read with likable characters and a fun setting.  The narrative is easy to digest, making this a good choice for reluctant readers.  I enjoyed it enough that I will be requesting The Mystery at the Kentucky Derby and The Mystery in Las Vegas, though I fail to see how much trouble a couple of young kids could get into at either venue.

Grade: B-

Review copy obtained from my local library