Molly's Reviews

Menace in the WallsMenace in the Walls
Middle Grades mystery
N.L.Eskeland, Ph.D
Science2Discover, Inc. Del Mar, CA

Interesting read ... Recommended ... 5 stars

Book opens with a raging flood, 13- year- old Joshua Keegan has accompanied his mother, a pediatric pulmonary specialist, to the ER. While tending the flood victims Joshua's mother is troubled to realize she is seeing another infant presenting the symptoms of nosebleed, coughing, congestion and lung damage that she had seen not long ago. During his stint at the hospital Joshua decides he would like to spend the summer working at the hospital, maybe in the lab. Joshua meets Dr. Tang, is fascinated to learn that much of the research being conducted centers around bacteria and molds and sets to work to learn everything he can. Before long Joshua makes a surprising discovery, and his favorite horse dies. Joshua sets out to discover how the babies have died and how the death of his beloved horse might figure in the mix. Missing data, missing cultures, the medical examiner is called in and a peculiar man seems to be following Joshua.

This fiction based in a true incident that took place in Cleveland OH during the mid 1990s resulted in the deaths of several young children is a tribute to the efforts of the writer. From the opening line when medics plead "Let Us Through" down to the last paragraph when Joshua's efforts are at last understood, the book is a gripping read. Writer Eskeland has taken a true life event, placed it in a mystery and peopled it with enough characters to keep the reader turning page after page to come to a satisfying conclusion. Eskeland has crafted a well wrought tale in which emergency room procedures, lung infection, microscope slides, staining, cultures, microbes, a deadly mold 'Stacybotrys' and the concept of spores have been interwoven into the narrative. Joshua Keegan and his sister Kelley are typical kids who bicker among themselves, but come together when need be.

This is a book sure to tickle the fancy of both boys and girls in the classroom. A must have for the middle grade student.

Happy to recommend.

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2005 by Molly Martin