Monday, 1 October 2012

Review - Echo and the Bat Pack: Treasure in the Graveyard

Echo and the Bat Pack: Treasure in the Graveyard
By Roberto Pavanello
Translated by Marco Zeni
Illustrated by Blasco Pisapia and Pamela Brugher
Publisher: Stone Arch Books
ISBN: 978-1434242488
Pub. Date: August 1, 2012
Pages: 128
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Set in the small town of Fogyville, a bat named Echo is a novelist living in a crypt at an abandoned cemetery with a little bit of writer's block. Late one night, Echo hears the cemetery gate opening. He investigates and catches a skull face man wearing a black cloak digging up a grave. Before he could say anything, a raven begins chasing him.

In a panic, Echo flees the cemetery into the open window of the Silver kids on 13 Friday Street, who closes the shutters before the raven can get in. The siblings are: Michael, age 12, aka - a book worm, Becca, age 11, aka - loves animals, and Tyler age 10, aka - computer nerd. The kids are shocked to find the talking bat, which was raised in a library. One of Echo's wings was injured when he landed in the room, so they kids let him stay in the house until he is healed.

The next day their parents inform them about the prisoner, Victor Mancino (aka - Victor Whiteskull), who had escaped the Black Gate Penitentiary the night before. For next several days there are strings of break-ins, including one next door. People seem to believe that the escape convict is responsible for the break-ins, but the Silver kids believe that the cloaked man with the raven, whom had chased their new friend Echo, is the one responsible for the crimes. The kids are determined to solve the mystery, leading them into the abandoned cemetery where they encounter a ghost pirate and the startling answer of who the thief really is.

I received book one of the Echo and the Bat Pack through Netgalley and I had a blast reading it. The story reminds of the Scooby Doo gang as they solve mysteries. Typically in middle grade books, the main characters are friends/classmates and not siblings. It is nice to read about siblings that get along with each other. Each one has something they are good at - Michael is smart and reads everything; Becca loves animals and knows everything about them; and Tyler knows everything about computers. I like how the three work together to solve the mystery. The addiction of Echo, the bat, who is the narrator, is pure genius, and I got a kick out of the thought that he is a writer. Overall, I loved reading Treasure in the Graveyard and I recommend it to readers of all ages.

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