The Missing Cuckoo Clock

A Mystery about Gravity

The Missing Cuckoo Clock

By:  Beauregard, Lynda
Helmer, Der-shing

$9.95 Paperback
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Lerner Publishing Group

Limited ***

5.8 X 8.3 in
48 pg

JUVENILE FICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels / General
JUVENILE FICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels / General
JUVENILE FICTION / Mysteries & Detective Stories

There's a new kid at Camp Dakota! It's Megan’s first year, and all she can think about is riding horses. But gravity seems to be getting in the way of all the campers' fun, from the stables to the beach. Then the big cuckoo clock in the main cabin goes missing. Who would take a cuckoo clock? Can the campers use the weighty facts they've learned to solve the mystery of where it went—and why?

Look in the back of the book for experiments and more to help you become a science detective too!

"Megan arrives at Camp Dakota excited about the summer, especially riding horses. When the camp's cuckoo clock goes missing, however, her keen scientific observations help crack the case. This graphic novel features colorful, manga-influenced cartoon illustrations and a relatively short narrative focused on different events illustrating several gravity-related concepts and scientific principles. While the story will not necessarily engage a wide range of readers, its relatable tween characters and summer camp setting will certainly appeal to middle grade readers with an eye for science. Specific scientific principles are explained in succinct, easy to understand language at the end of each episode; back matter includes science experiments readers can conduct, a brief glossary, and an explanation of the scientific principles underlying the mystery's solution. These will have particular interest to libraries looking to supplement their STEM collections with well-done graphic novels." —BayViewsJournal

"In this Summer Camp Science Mystery, the kids at Camp Dakota—along with newcomer Megan—focus on gravity and how it affects everything they do. Even as they learn about the effects of friction on gravity and how changing the center of gravity can affect one's balance, the cuckoo clock disappears from the main cabin. Now everyone must become a detective to find the clock. Learning about gravity gets a lift from the colorful art and engaging story, and students may even be inspired to try experiments in the back matter." —BooklistJournal

"Summer-camp kids get (scientifically) physical.
Falling between a boxed definition of gravity and explanations of how that force interacts with others, the story is largely a framework for nonstop real-life demonstrations of gravity in action. Readers see it at work on clock weights, dripping water, a beach ball, random falling objects—and horse-mad new camper Megan, who falls a hair below the height requirement to ride in the afternoon, but (after a night spent lying down) measures a half-inch taller the next morning. Helmer supplies brightly colored cartoon panels featuring a multicultural crew of young campers engaged in general horseplay or watching in wide-eyed wonder as a counselor explains how a mechanical clock works or concocts simple physics demonstrations. Even the titular cuckoo clock swings past as just a MacGuffin for showing how a pendulum works.
Predominantly instructional, but light enough not to sink beneath the weight of its purpose." —Kirkus ReviewsJournal

Lynda Beauregard wrote her first story when she was seven years old, and hasn't stopped writing since. She also likes to teach kids how to swim, design websites, direct racecars out onto the track, and throw super balls for her cat, Becca. She lives near Detroit with her two lovely daughters, who are doing their best to turn her hair grey.


Der-shing Helmer is a high school biology teacher who originally went to college to learn about reptiles. After she graduated she decided to try teaching instead. In her spare time she likes to write and draw comics and read a variety of books!