Ted Hammond, the hero of Andrew Clements' Room One is the only sixth-grader in Plattsford, Nebraska, a peaceful speck on the Great Plains, with a one-room school house and a dwindling population. Hooked on reading mysteries, Ted comes face to face with one when he sees a girl in the window of an abandoned farm. Finding out why she's there ultimately brings this tiny town to help the homeless family of a soldier killed in Iraq. Timely, convincing and well read by Keith Nobbs, here's a story to keep 8- to 12-year-olds and their families engaged.

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