Jackaby by William Ritter
Published by Scholastic in 2014
Abigail Rook just arrived in New York. She’s been raised in England, but she always yearned to follow in her archeologist father’s footsteps. Unfortunately, he has always encouraged her to stay home with her mother. Taking matters into her own hands, she steals her tuition money joins a dinosaur dig in Ukraine. After that she gets on a boat to America and ends up in the small town of New Fiddleham. She quickly tries to find a job and finds herself on the doorsteps of Mr. R. F. Jackaby, investigator. But it turns out that Jackaby is not an ordinary detective. He investigates supernatural crimes.
Jackaby allows Abigail to tag along on this case. It turns out a mysterious person or creature has committed a grisley murder. They quickly learn that this is the work of a serial killer. Will Abigail and Jackaby succeed?
Overal, this is a great fantasy thriller that middle school students will love!
Memorable quotes: “I cease concerning myself with how I look to others…I suggest you do the same. In my experience, others are usually wrong.” (p28)
“I find most men are already more than happy to believe a young woman is a frail little thing.” (p. 32)
“I merely allowed his assumption to work for me.” (p33)
“Looking back, I suppose I ought to have been less afraid of being left safely behind and more afraid of the looming precipice ahead.” (p73)
“That the battles are in usually her head does not lessen the bravery of it. The hardest battles always are.” (p. 104)
“Monsters are easy, Miss Rook. They’re monsters. But a monster in a suit? That’s basically just a wicked man, and a wicked man is a more dangerous thing by far.” (p. 112)
“The world is full of dragon-slayer. What we need is a few more people who aren’t too proud to listen to a fish.” (p. 266)
“As someone told me recently, others are generally wrong.” (p. 292)