Written by Tony Abbott
Illustrated by Colleen Madden
Format: Hardcover, 112 pages
ISBN: 978-1-60684-164-8 (1-60684-164-5)
Pub Date: February 28, 2012
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“Everyone wants to be a Goofball in this little town, and readers will want to follow their cases in the future. That #1 on the spine ensures that there will be many more adventures from these goofy friends.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Targeting readers who like a lot of humor with their mysteries, Abbott includes a great deal of wordplay and slapstick, and stretches the goofball joke to its limit (Jeff’s dog even barks, “Goof! Goof!”). Madden’s cartoons add to the fun, and Abbott’s clipped, dialogue-driven text is accessible for beginning readers and creates just the hint of a noir atmosphere.” —Publishers Weekly
“The plot moves along quickly from clue to clue, enabling readers to test their own powers of deduction. . . . Bold black, white, and gray illustrations appear on almost every spread. Illustrations also suggest the multiracial make-up of the Goofballs. The humor consists of mostly pratfalls (tumbling into doorways, getting stuck in a chair) and puns (“don’t leaf me here”), but early chapter book readers will enjoy this combination of mystery and silliness.”—School Library Journal
Jeff, Brian, Mara, and Kelly are self-proclaimed goofballs. Since first grade these friends have been solving mystery among their schoolmates etc and now their reputation is expanding. Rich kid Randall Crandall's horse, Thunder, goes missing and he calls upon the Goofballs to find him. Deciphering the clues that range from a flower delivery truck, a thunderstorm and a horse who's afraid of thunder, leads the Goofballs to recover missing Thunder, the flower-loving horse. In the meantime, they follow a trail of chomped-up flowers, disguise themselves as bushes in a florist shop and spend some time in a house that's bigger than the White House.
Also available in e-book format ISBN: 978-1-60684-298-0, Digest ISBN: 978-1-60684-340-6, and RLB ISBN: 978-1-60684-342-0
Tony Abbott was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and lived in a small house on top of a hill. There were tons of books in every room (because both of his parents were teachers) and he would say that these books were his first introduction to the world of literature.
He has been a bookseller, a publisher, and a library clerk, but it was only when he began reading bedtime stories to his daughters that the spark of writing finally turned to children's books. Since then, Tony has authored over 85 books for younger readers. He is currently a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Creative Writing MFA faculty at Lesley University. He presents writing workshops and seminars to children and adults nationwide. He lives in Trumbull, Connecticut with his wife, two daughters, and a pretty good dog. You can visit him online at www.tonyabbotbooks.com.
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