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Ricardo Cortés (The Children's Book Podcast #550)

November 19, 2019


Ricardo Cortés (@Rmcortes) shares PARTY: A MYSTERY. When my students first read PARTY: A MYSTERY they were stunned, they had lots and lots of questions, and they were each confident that he or she knew the solution to the mystery. But the more we discussed the book, the more their predictions changed. It was the perfect candidate for a group interview. Ricardo discovered Jamaica Kincaid’s “PARTY” in a book of her essays, a collection of New Yorker “Talk of the Town” pieces she wrote in the beginning of her career. In the story three girls are hanging out at an extravagant book party celebrating the Nancy Drew novels. Two of the girls see something that shocks and shakes them and the third is left as in the dark as the readers. The mystery is over as abruptly as it starts and the youngest girl, as well as the reader, is left not seeming to learn the explanation of what was just experienced. Definitely a context that’s enough to drive a reader wild with guesses, perhaps by design or perhaps as the clues are laid out in front of us.


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Highlights Foundation

Storyteller Academy


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Three girls--Pam, Beth, and Sue--attend a party to celebrate the publication of the first of the Nancy Drew mystery books. There are many distractions at the fancy affair: flower arrangements, partygoers, refreshments, and lots and lots of marble. Suddenly, the oldest girl, Pam, sees what can only be described as something truly...bilious...not good Beth sees it too. The youngest, Sue, does not, and as usual she has a hard time getting anyone to tell her anything. Party: A Mystery is a beautifully drawn adventure story that promises questions that will grab children, but does not guarantee an answer.








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