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HANNAH WEST IN THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE


By Linda Johns

Puffin/Sleuth, March 2007 ($5.99)
ISBN: 0142407569

Ages 10 and up

Reviewed by Shirley H. Wetzel

Hannah West, the engaging twelve-year-old artist, dog-sitter, and sometime sleuth, and her mother are on the job in their latest house-sitting gig in the funky Fremont section of Seattle, once a hippie haven and now a trendy yuppie enclave. Many of the neighbors are dog owners with busy lives. Hannah, a major animal lover, sets up a dog walking business, which flourishes until a series of dognappings creates a panic. To her shock and horror, Hannah finds that she is a suspect in the crimes, and she enlists her buddy Lily in a quest to find the missing pets and clear her name. She sees herself as a pint size Columbo, complete with basset. Elvis, the slobbery hound who came with the apartment, has his talents, but crime-fighting doesnít seem to be one of them.

Hannah is an engaging and believable character, and it is fun to explore Seattle with her and her friends. I enjoy how her motherís house sitting career allows her to set up camp in different parts of the city. Nothing too scary happens, and all ends well in Hannahís world.


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