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THE BLOODWORTH MYSTERIES: DOPPELGANGER


By Peter Hautman and Mary Logue

G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Division of Penguin Young Reader’s Group), April 2008 ($16.99)
ISBN-10: 0399243798
ISBN-13: 978-0-399-24379-0
Ages 9-12

Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel

Fifty years ago, Zeb Bloodworth, the grandson of the town’s founder, made a life-sized paper airplane and launched it, and himself, off a 200 foot bluff. It was his first, and final, flight. To commemorate this event, the local newspaper started a yearly paper airplane contest. This year, thirteen-year-old Brian Bain is the lucky winner.

He’s pleased to see his photo in the paper. This isn’t the first time he’s made the front page -- he and his friend Roni Delicata were written up after they solved a couple of crimes -- but this time is different. Unbeknownst to him, two women, strangers to him, also see his photo. One makes a vow to protect him; the other has a more sinister reaction.

Roni, whose mom is secretary to Bloodworth’s mayor, is looking at photos on the website for abducted children, hoping she’ll be able to find some of them and reunite them with their families. When she sees an age-progressed picture of one Bryce Dobleman, nicknamed Bry, she gets a jolt -- he looks like a dead ringer for her friend Brian. When she shows the photo to Brian, he tells her she’s nuts. Sure, the kid is Korean, like him, and he’s the same age, but the kid on the website was abducted by his adoptive mother when he was three, and Brian’s mother abandoned him in Korea when he was an infant, and his adoptive parents got him soon after. That’s what they’d always told him, so it must be true.

Or is it? He has some vague memories of another home, another mother, but he thinks they’re just dreams. His dad, an absent-minded professor, says the other boy must be Brian’s doppelganger, that one look-alike person everyone is said to have. His mom, a police detective, laughs off Roni’s claim, but she is acting strangely, as though she is hiding something.

As it turns out, she is. Shaken and unsure of who he really is, he teams up with Roni to track down his double and find out the truth. Roni is sixteen, old enough to ride a Vespa around town. The duo set off on an investigation that takes them from a secluded trailer house in the country to the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul, defying parental rules and getting into some very deep water.

This is an entertaining read, with engaging characters, and just enough danger and adventure to engage the interest of the target audience. This is the third in the Bloodwater series, following SNATCHED and SKULLDUGGERY.


This book is scheduled to be released in April, 2008. Copies may be pre-ordered through online bookstores at this time.


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