When you were a child, no doubt you had an innocent yet wild curiosity that would have been shed upon becoming a teen. But there’s always a point where you might wish you could go back to that time. TV might allow you to return to such a time, but a book I feel can do it better.
That feeling of child-like innocence is alive within Bernice Takes A Plunge by Ann Harth, a middle-grader novel that has been a joy to read. Bernice Peppercorn is a lively girl who allows her imagination to run wild as she explores the seaside town she lives, always watching the ongoing events to see what could fit into the book she’s writing. The story joins her at a point where she learns of a robbery that has happened at the home of a local actress who is currently away.
She wants to get investigating, with the hope that she might be able to meet that actress (who she adores a lot), though there’s little she can really do at her age. Not that such will stop her from trying. On the day-to-day adventures as she collects information to try and solve the case, she gets sucked into a lie when she meets a fisherman with only one leg.
Through Bernice’s viewpoint we get to know some of the other residents of the town from how she has come to know them, though the focus is upon Bernice’s growing friendship with Ike, which does have a great payoff at the end. Throughout the story, Bernice holds feelings of whether she should tell the truth, which get portrayed in a truthful way to how a child might think, with that nervous energy of not wanting to turn things bad.
I found myself guessing as to who the thief might have been as new information presented itself, and enjoyed the reveal at the end. I would say it is a satisfying ending, though is enjoyable all the way through. The innocent, natural way of the words makes it an easy read, with great character interactions throughout. It might be a small read, but it’s certainly a great one that everyone who might be looking for a little light-hearted mystery can enjoy.