Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit by Octavia Spencer

Posted by Caitie F on November 3, 2013

Title: The Case of the Time-Capsule BanditRandi Rhodes
Author: Octavia Spencer
Hardcover: 224 pages
Pub Date: Oct 15, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Rating: ++++

Summary from pub:

Deer Creek is a small town whose only hope for survival is the success of their Founder’s Day Festival. But the festival’s main attraction, a time capsule that many people believe hold the town’s treasure, has gone missing.

Randi Rhodes and her best friend, D.C., are Bruce Lee–inspired ninjas and local detectives determined to solve the case. Even if it means investigating in a haunted cabin and facing mean old Angus McCarthy, prime suspect.

They have three days to find the treasure…the future of their whole town is at stake! Will these kids be able to save the day?


I am always a little leery of celebrities writing fiction. I saw Octavia Spencer at BEA and it didn’t really make me want to read it more. She loved to read, which is always good, but it wasn’t like seeing Chris Colfer which made me rush out to get it..

That said, I still wanted to read it because I love middle grade, a ninja detective sounds cool, and it is a diverse group of characters, which is much needed in middle grade.

Turns out it was a pretty good book! It wasn’t the best written book, but the story was exciting and kept me reading. It is written in a style that middle grade readers will really enjoy. It is funny, fast-paced, and has heart. It was one of those books that was very hard to put down. The mystery was put together very well. The reader could figure it out, but it wasn’t super obvious like some books for young readers can be.

The characters were great – especially Randi. She was complex, funny, and very smart. Any kids that like mysteries or ninjas will be cheering her on. Her friends were equally awesome. They had different backgrounds and situations, but it didn’t matter to Randi and the characters were all fully formed. No one was a token or defined by what made them different.

This is a fun mystery and I will read the next book in the series!


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