Perfect for any wannabe sleuth or basketball fan, No Clues, You Lose is an elementary school novel unlike any other. Josephine Jacobs, also known as Joey, is more than proud to be on her local wheelchair basketball team, the Rollin’ Hornets. After a rebranding, her team has ordered new uniforms to avoid risking disqualification from the upcoming tournament in Atlanta. However, a stolen delivery threatens to derail Joey’s dreams. How will she find the missing uniforms? None of the clues make sense, Joey can’t use her computer because of an incident with her sister, and Coach Mike, as well as most of the parents, want to forfeit the tournament. Using the help of her friends and family, Joey moves past these obstacles to discover both where the missing uniforms went and how she can be a better team-player.
Despite being a lighthearted novel, A.B. Donahue, the author, brings realism and relevance to the book. This story doesn’t shy away from showing how Joey is treated differently by some people. Still, with a combination of determination and optimism, she persists in proving that she’s just as capable as anyone else. While she solves the mystery of the disappearing uniforms, Joey also learns the importance of acceptance, sportsmanship, and taking responsibility for your actions.
Not your average children’s book, No Clues, You Lose sets itself apart from the pack with red herrings, a plot twist, and elevated vocabulary. This novel is meant for seven-to-eleven-year-olds, but it isn’t reminiscent of the writing typical of elementary school mysteries; this is a novel for readers that have progressed beyond picture and phonic books and are ready for a challenge. Even between dubious online auctions, a dangerous snoop through a landfill, and nearly getting trapped in a house with a criminal, A. B. Donahue writes an easy to follow and age-appropriate story which will leave you guessing—but not confused.
Educational yet engaging, No Clues, You Lose is perfect for read-aloud sessions. There’s a lot which young readers can learn from this novel. Managing your emotions, respecting your friends and family, and accepting others’ differences are all examples of takeaways. With writing that will challenge but not stump budding readers, it's no question that No Clues, You Lose is a parent’s first choice for any story time. Joey’s narration does not disappoint, and neither does the unexpected ending to this elementary school thriller for both boys and girls.
|Elliott is a prolific reader of various genres who is more than happy to share his opinions on books. |
In his free time, he enjoys writing, reading, and running.
He is an 8th grade homeschool student in Charlotte, NC.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A.B. Donahue has a degree in music therapy and psychology from Queens University of Charlotte, and worked with children and youth with special healthcare needs for over 20 years. She and her husband and have four children; and all of them have some kind of special healthcare need. She also founded a nonprofit, Signposts Ministries, in 2010, to serve families that have children and youth with special healthcare needs.