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The Peacock Detectives

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The last time William Shakespeare and Virginia went missing Cassie found them sitting on a coiled hose behind the fire station, and Dad called her Cassie Andersen, Peacock Detective. So this time she knows what to doshell look for clues and track them down. But the clues lead her in an unexpected direction and Cassie finds herself investigating a confusing mystery about The last time William Shakespeare and Virginia went missing Cassie found them sitting on a coiled hose behind the fire station, and Dad called her ‘Cassie Andersen, Peacock Detective’. So this time she knows what to do—she’ll look for clues and track them down. But the clues lead her in an unexpected direction and Cassie finds herself investigating a confusing mystery about her family. The Peacock Detectives is a warm and engaging story for middle-grade readers about dealing with change and finding out who you are.


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The last time William Shakespeare and Virginia went missing Cassie found them sitting on a coiled hose behind the fire station, and Dad called her Cassie Andersen, Peacock Detective. So this time she knows what to doshell look for clues and track them down. But the clues lead her in an unexpected direction and Cassie finds herself investigating a confusing mystery about The last time William Shakespeare and Virginia went missing Cassie found them sitting on a coiled hose behind the fire station, and Dad called her ‘Cassie Andersen, Peacock Detective’. So this time she knows what to do—she’ll look for clues and track them down. But the clues lead her in an unexpected direction and Cassie finds herself investigating a confusing mystery about her family. The Peacock Detectives is a warm and engaging story for middle-grade readers about dealing with change and finding out who you are.

30 review for The Peacock Detectives

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dale Harcombe

    Four and a half stars. Cassie Anderson is eleven years old. She lives with her mother, father and sister Diana who is fourteen. One particular Saturday two things happen, the peacocks from across the road go missing and Cassie decided to write a story. As she notices clues about William Shakespeare and Virginia, the missing peacocks, Cassie also notices many things about her own family. She tries to make sense of what she finds out by writing everything down and ends up with a lot of questions Four and a half stars. Cassie Anderson is eleven years old. She lives with her mother, father and sister Diana who is fourteen. One particular Saturday two things happen, the peacocks from across the road go missing and Cassie decided to write a story. As she notices clues about William Shakespeare and Virginia, the missing peacocks, Cassie also notices many things about her own family. She tries to make sense of what she finds out by writing everything down and ends up with a lot of questions about what is really going on in her family. This book was shortlisted for the Text Prize and it’s not hard to see why. Cassie’s voice is articulate and engaging as she seeks to unravel the puzzles of her family and friends. While telling her story Cassie also gives lots of hints for would be writers. She is aided in her quest to find the peacocks and the truth about her family which seems to elude her, by her friend Jonas. Jonas collects assorted, and at times unrelated, facts and shares them at various times. He makes an interesting foil for Cassie. Jonas also has his own questions about family he wants resolved. The setting is a smallish town in rural Victoria which has a combined primary and high school. From its colourful cover and its engaging voice, this book is a charming read. Although it deals with fairly heavy issues regarding family and problems faced, it does so in a gentle way that makes it a good read for thoughtful readers in the 9-12 age group. While it is a long time since I have been in that age range, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and thought it was beautifully done and would definitely recommend it. It would be a great book for teachers or parents to read along with their children as it could open lots of areas for discussion. As well as being useful for that, it is a delightful, fun read that left me smiling. Thanks to Text Publishing for my copy of this great book to read and review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

    Autumn by the river feels slippery, and almost-but-not-quite cold. It sometimes feels dark, too, because in autumn we put the clocks back, so when its five oclock its really six oclock, and theres less daylight. Its the reverse of daylight savings. It is daylight spendings. The Peacock Detectives is the first novel by prize-winning Australian author, Carly Nugent. When William Shakespeare and Virginia go missing, Mr and Mrs Hudson engage the services of eleven-going-on-twelve-year-old Cassie “Autumn by the river feels slippery, and almost-but-not-quite cold. It sometimes feels dark, too, because in autumn we put the clocks back, so when it’s five o’clock it’s really six o’clock, and there’s less daylight. It’s the reverse of daylight savings. It is daylight spendings.” The Peacock Detectives is the first novel by prize-winning Australian author, Carly Nugent. When William Shakespeare and Virginia go missing, Mr and Mrs Hudson engage the services of eleven-going-on-twelve-year-old Cassie Andersen to find them. William Shakespeare and Virginia are ornamental peacocks and Cassie has a reputation for being able to find lost things. She notes down all her observations in her Notebook for Noticing, but the birds are proving difficult to track down. Cassie enlists the help of her best friend Jonas, but is distracted from her investigation by things that are happening at home: Mum is forever busy cooking up strange dishes from her night course; older sister, Diana has gone vegetarian and is into Buddhist meditation; her Grandpa is mysteriously absent from church and tired all the time; and Dad is behaving a little strangely and seems to be filling the cupboards with little boxes. Cassie thinks she and Jonas make a great team because she knows stories and he knows scientific facts, which he regularly shares: “Did you know vultures help prevent diseases from spreading?” and “Did you know Greece is one of the biggest producers of sponges?” and “Did you know if a shark stops swimming it will die?” (Sharks are Jonas’s favourite things). Through it all, Cassie is keeping detailed notes, because Cassie is a writer, and this is a story she intends to tell. Dad is an English teacher, and encourages her to note events and dialogue, and to think about a theme. But what she notes down, especially about her family, often leaves her with more questions than answers. This is a book some quirky characters and some very ordinary ones (a bit like life, really) who deal with the everyday challenges that make up life. Cassie is a truly likeable character with a genuinely good heart who manages to mature and gain some insight over the months it takes her to finally catch those elusive peacocks. Cassie’s eleven-year-old voice feels authentic: at times, childishly naïve, at times, incredibly perceptive. Aimed at a reading age of 9+, this story covers themes of mental illness, adoption, marriage breakdown, terminal illness, bullying and friendship in a sensitive and age-appropriate manner. It is easy to see why this little book won the Readings Children’s Book Prize and was shortlisted for the Text Prize. The illustrations by Sophie Beer are a charming enhancement to this warm and heartfelt tale that need not be limited to children. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Text Publishing.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Text Publishing

    A tender and heartfelt story. Martine Murray Nugent gently explores issues of depressionand brings the whole adventure satisfyingly around with a delightful peacock discovery. SA Weekend Heartfelt and funnyCarly Nugents debut is a lively and generous story that acknowledges the powerful feelings of its readers, and the space they occupy in the world. Books+Publishing ‘A tender and heartfelt story.’ Martine Murray ‘Nugent gently explores issues of depression…and brings the whole adventure satisfyingly around with a delightful peacock discovery.’ SA Weekend ‘Heartfelt and funny…Carly Nugent’s debut is a lively and generous story that acknowledges the powerful feelings of its readers, and the space they occupy in the world.’ Books+Publishing

  4. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    This is a heart-wrenching tale of Cassie, who is on the hunt for missing peacocks, and on her search, finds her family and town are crumbling around her. I really enjoyed this tale, which I won thanks to the generosity of the publishers Text Publishing. I found The Peacock Detectives to be a mix of The Curious Incident Of the Dog in the Night Time and Lemony Snicket but it worked. Aimed at upper primary school children, it packs a punch with some serious themes: family breakdown, mental health, This is a heart-wrenching tale of Cassie, who is on the hunt for missing peacocks, and on her search, finds her family and town are crumbling around her. I really enjoyed this tale, which I won thanks to the generosity of the publishers Text Publishing. I found The Peacock Detectives to be a mix of The Curious Incident Of the Dog in the Night Time and Lemony Snicket but it worked. Aimed at upper primary school children, it packs a punch with some serious themes: family breakdown, mental health, bullying, death, among others. But it was certainly a good read and enjoyable for all ages. And it may help you write your own story in the process.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mila

    4,5 stars This was a charming story that revolved around family and mental health, the writing was very easy-going and enjoyable and I liked all the different characters. It was just a lovely book that made me feel great inside.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Charlie

    My feelings about this book strongly suffered by it not being the story I thought I was going into... I was expecting a cute mystery - what I got was an exploration of mental health, marriage breakdown, and depression from the eyes of an interesting narrator. Not to mention the issues of: adoption(!), coming-of-age, family secrets, runaways, and snakes! It was all a little much for me, and not at all what I was expecting. Others might enjoy it more, but know that this book is in no way a mystery My feelings about this book strongly suffered by it not being the story I thought I was going into... I was expecting a cute mystery - what I got was an exploration of mental health, marriage breakdown, and depression from the eyes of an interesting narrator. Not to mention the issues of: adoption(!), coming-of-age, family secrets, runaways, and snakes! It was all a little much for me, and not at all what I was expecting. Others might enjoy it more, but know that this book is in no way a mystery novel.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This is the story of a missing peaccock and peahen. But, that is really a minor part of the story. The author, the narrator, is well aware of how she wants to tell this story, of a year in her life, and though she tries to make it about the peacocks, it really is about friendship, and mean girls, and unhappy fathers, and her total inability to see what is going on before it happens. So, even though the peacocks turned out to not be as important to the story, the people who do appear in the story, This is the story of a missing peaccock and peahen. But, that is really a minor part of the story. The author, the narrator, is well aware of how she wants to tell this story, of a year in her life, and though she tries to make it about the peacocks, it really is about friendship, and mean girls, and unhappy fathers, and her total inability to see what is going on before it happens. So, even though the peacocks turned out to not be as important to the story, the people who do appear in the story, you do feel for. Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Star

    From the moment I heard about The Peacock Detectives, I knew that I wanted to read it. The book is shrouded in family dynamics and relations, with a touch of mystery to it, too. Cassie Anderson is an eleven year old girl, and also a writer. She is also a Peacock Detective. The first time her neighbours peacocks went missing, she was the one to find them. So when they went missing again, naturally, her neighbours sought out her help to find them again. While doing Very Important Detective Work, From the moment I heard about The Peacock Detectives, I knew that I wanted to read it. The book is shrouded in family dynamics and relations, with a touch of mystery to it, too. Cassie Anderson is an eleven year old girl, and also a writer. She is also a Peacock Detective. The first time her neighbour’s peacocks went missing, she was the one to find them. So when they went missing again, naturally, her neighbours sought out her help to find them again. While doing Very Important Detective Work, Cassie also is writing a story for her Dad, who is also a writer, and he teaches English Literature at the high school portion of their local school. Cassie’s parents suddenly split up, with her mum moving out, and leaving Cassie and her sister, Diana, to stay with their dad, who has been going to The Clinic for his mental health, which doesn’t get better, but only worse after her mum moves out. Her older sister, Diana, is fourteen going on fifteen, and is clearly dealing with somethings herself, too, and has turned to Buddhism to make sense of her life and to bring herself some peace. Cassie has a good friendship with a boy named Jonas, who knows a lot of facts, and who is also going through his own things. The story on the whole was really lovely, I thought. It was touching, and brought about important topics like parents moving out, mental health issues (even though maybe Cassie didn’t and doesn’t exactly understand what that means). (view spoiler)[A part of me still can’t reconcile a parent who would move out and willingly leave their children with the other parent, who is clearly going through some serious mental health issues, and who is spending all of their money on useless things instead of the basic necessities. (hide spoiler)] I really enjoyed this book, and I think it’s really important for younger people to read, so they can not feel alone if any of the adults in their lives are going through what they are. 4/5 stars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    Thanks to Text Publishing for the copy of this book. The book is aimed at upper primary school children but can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It is a story of Cassie and her search for the missing peacocks. It also includes real life family issues that she encounters in her life and that of her friends. An enjoyable read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kylie Purdie

    So many themes! (Cassie would be pleased I found some!) - Depression, family break-up, death, religious beliefs, adoption, socio-economic disadvantage - a ton! However it didn't feel over crammed with them. The story flowed along and these things happened. Cassie didn't name them us such, but she observed, she watched and she thought about what was going on around her. At times I found the writing a bit clunky and although I think that was deliberate to give it the feeling of having been written So many themes! (Cassie would be pleased I found some!) - Depression, family break-up, death, religious beliefs, adoption, socio-economic disadvantage - a ton! However it didn't feel over crammed with them. The story flowed along and these things happened. Cassie didn't name them us such, but she observed, she watched and she thought about what was going on around her. At times I found the writing a bit clunky and although I think that was deliberate to give it the feeling of having been written by a child, I did find it distracting at times. In the end a lovely book and well worth it's inclusion on the Australian Children's Book Council 2019 shortlist for Younger Readers.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shane Harcombe

    This was an unusual, heartwarming story that kept me engaged throughout. I loved Cassie and the descriptions of the town (after seeing the author was from Bright, I kept picturing that when reading the descriptions). This is the story of a girl (eleven-turning-twelve) growing up and trying to make sense of the changes happening in her life; in her big sister, her grandpa and most of all, in her parents. This part of the story is sweet and sad and fairly typical (but still very good). The unusual This was an unusual, heartwarming story that kept me engaged throughout. I loved Cassie and the descriptions of the town (after seeing the author was from Bright, I kept picturing that when reading the descriptions). This is the story of a girl (eleven-turning-twelve) growing up and trying to make sense of the changes happening in her life; in her big sister, her grandpa and most of all, in her parents. This part of the story is sweet and sad and fairly typical (but still very good). The unusual part of the book is how much it talks about the craft of writing from a child's perspective. I quite like it and think it would be great for teaching a class, but at the same time this aspect felt a little forced. I was expecting a little more detail in the resolution, particularly with Cassie's dad and with Rhea, but overall thoroughly enjoyed the book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    A year in the life of Australian girl Cassie Anderson. It starts with the escape of her neighbor's peacocks, and Cassie does spend a good bit of time (as in, all year) trying to recapture them, but the peacocks are fairly minor in the story overall. The main story is that Cassie's family is approaching a crisis. Her father suffers from depression, to the point at which he stops going to work and spends way too much money on useless things, and her mother moves out and starts a new job. Cassie's A year in the life of Australian girl Cassie Anderson. It starts with the escape of her neighbor's peacocks, and Cassie does spend a good bit of time (as in, all year) trying to recapture them, but the peacocks are fairly minor in the story overall. The main story is that Cassie's family is approaching a crisis. Her father suffers from depression, to the point at which he stops going to work and spends way too much money on useless things, and her mother moves out and starts a new job. Cassie's older sister Diana has decided to become a Buddhist and has moved out of the house and into a tent in the yard, but it's she who takes over the meals and general care of the house when their mother leaves. At school, Cassie has only one sort-of friend, Jonas, who loves obscure facts. Jonas has his own crisis that ends up not only solidifying their friendship, but creating an odd affinity between them and an upper school girl who has been a vicious bully. Cassie is writing this story as a gift for her father, but it ends up being rather late... For me, the best part of this was the Australian setting, because it's unusual in US children's books. The cognitive dissonance of Christmas in summer only adds to the interest! I only gave this three stars because I thought it would be a mystery, but it's really yet another problem novel about a dysfunctional family. I know every generation needs their own versions of this story, so I'm sure lots of kids will enjoy it for that and see themselves in it in one way or another. The loving but contentious sibling relationship is well done, and I'm sure lots of kids will sigh alongside Cassie at being 11 but still considered too young for things like visiting their terminally ill grandfather in hospital and reading books from the upper school library. I also liked how Cassie attached taglines to people/places/things in almost a Homer-esque way, to make her writing idiosyncratic. One thing I didn't like much was that the author used the easy out of having Cassie read only classics. I know authors do that so the book will age well, and this author also made Cassie's father an English teacher to reinforce the reason she was reading those, but really. She couldn't read Harry Potter, or some Carnegie medal winners, at the very least? My pet peeve!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    See my full review here: https://www.yabookscentral.com/kidsfi... THE PEACOCK DETECTIVES is a story told by a young narrator, who is in Grade 6 but reads at a Grade 7 level. Her father is an English and English literature teacher, and Cassie has picked up tips from him about writing that she is employing to write about her life- with the focus about how she will track down the peacock and peahen from across the road that have gone missing. In the process, Cassie begins to notice things about her See my full review here: https://www.yabookscentral.com/kidsfi... THE PEACOCK DETECTIVES is a story told by a young narrator, who is in Grade 6 but reads at a Grade 7 level. Her father is an English and English literature teacher, and Cassie has picked up tips from him about writing that she is employing to write about her life- with the focus about how she will track down the peacock and peahen from across the road that have gone missing. In the process, Cassie begins to notice things about her own family that warrant further investigation and spark a discussion of much bigger issues that can be helpful for young readers to view through a voice not unlike their own. This book has a very young narrator that will appeal to middle grade readers, particularly those who read above their level. What I loved: Cassie speaks at an easy-to-understand level and explains concepts and words in a very approachable way for the young audience. This reminds me of Beverly Cleary's books and style. Cassie has great appeal for the young crowd with her subtly poetic approach, lists, dialogue, and simple explanations- all while tackling some big topics. This book would be better for younger middle grade readers vs. those at the top of the age category, as this book may be a little too simple in flow and slow to start. However, for those who are able to "get" Cassie, this is a highly rewarding read. Final verdict: Approachable, genuine, and well-intentioned, Cassie's story has appeal for young readers, who may not be chasing peacocks but who may be dealing with similar life shifts. Please note that i received an ARC. All opinions are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    More reviews and book-ish content @ Club Book Mobile & Andrea RBK The Peacock Detectives by Carly Nugent advertises itself as the story of Cassie whose trying to find out what happened to her neighbors' peacocks. Y'all, this is so, so, SO very much more than that. While this is how Cassie's story starts, it covers a great deal as she is navigating some complicated stuff. What especially resonated with me was the theme of mental health that was masterfully done. I loved the care and honesty More reviews and book-ish content @ Club Book Mobile & Andrea RBK The Peacock Detectives by Carly Nugent advertises itself as the story of Cassie whose trying to find out what happened to her neighbors' peacocks. Y'all, this is so, so, SO very much more than that. While this is how Cassie's story starts, it covers a great deal as she is navigating some complicated stuff. What especially resonated with me was the theme of mental health that was masterfully done. I loved the care and honesty that was given to this topic, as Cassie show struggles in others, while also managing some feels of her own. If you're looking for a book that could start a conversation on this topic, this could be it. Cassie is also navigating some tough family dynamics, bullying, and an ill grandparent. Each of these happenings are shown from Cassie's perspective which is powerful. Throughout she is working on her story, so she processes each development in real time, and y'all, again, it's just beautiful. I loved how authentic and real Cassie's story was. This one gave voice to stuff kids are definitely experiencing and can't always make sense of. Thanks to NetGalley for the early look at what I thought was going to a lighthearted book, but instead gave me so, so much more.

  15. 4 out of 5

    M.R. Cullen

    The Peacock Detectives by Carly Nugent is so different from what I was expecting. I was expecting a cutesy story about a bunch of Peacock Detectives. What I got was a multi-layered story about a year in the life of 11-year-old Cassie and her family. To begin with, the writing style was utterly engaging and infectious. The sheer joy at the beginning of the book, as Cassie introduces the reader to her world hooked me completely. As the story progresses, older readers will pick up on the less than The Peacock Detectives by Carly Nugent is so different from what I was expecting. I was expecting a cutesy story about a bunch of Peacock Detectives. What I got was a multi-layered story about a year in the life of 11-year-old Cassie and her family. To begin with, the writing style was utterly engaging and infectious. The sheer joy at the beginning of the book, as Cassie introduces the reader to her world hooked me completely. As the story progresses, older readers will pick up on the less than joyful aspects of her life. While Cassie isn't oblivious, her innocence leaves her unaware of what she is recording is going to mean in the long term. The story covers marriage break ups, terminal illness, depression and a lack of sense of belonging in a truly interesting way. I loved this book, and I can see why it was an Honours recipient at the 2019 CBCA Awards for Younger Readers. The Peacock Detectives is a fast read, but one that will linger in your mind long after you turn the last page.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Pole

    The Peacock Detectives by Carly Nugent is categorized as ''children's fiction', but I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed it as an adult novel. Eleven year old Cassie provides a charming, fresh, and engaging narrative voice that provides a level of insight and maturity that is well beyond her years. Cassie identifies as a writer, and sets out to pen a true story involving a case of a pair of missing peacocks. But as Cassie embarks on a quest to find her neighbours' missing birds, she is The Peacock Detectives by Carly Nugent is categorized as ''children's fiction', but I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed it as an adult novel. Eleven year old Cassie provides a charming, fresh, and engaging narrative voice that provides a level of insight and maturity that is well beyond her years. Cassie identifies as a writer, and sets out to pen a true story involving a case of a pair of missing peacocks. But as Cassie embarks on a quest to find her neighbours' missing birds, she is unknowingly partaking in a journey of self-discovery, and learning to embrace change in her own rapidly changing world, particularly as it pertains to her own family dynamic. Cassie is empathetic, sensitive, and inquisitive, and joining in her search for truth is pure joy. This is a delightful story that I would recommend to young and old alike. Many thanks to NetGalley and Text Publishing for this lovely ARC.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Klein

    Cassie, 11, has dreams of being a writer. With the help of her Dad, she understands the right mix needed for the perfect story and adventure. When peacocks, William Shakespeare and Virginia escape, Cassie along with her friend Jonas and dog Simon set off on a mission to find them. Through their adventures, Cassie uncovers the many mysteries that lay hidden within their family and friends behind layers of pain and heartache. The Peacock Detectives is a heart-warming story about change and growing Cassie, 11, has dreams of being a writer. With the help of her Dad, she understands the right mix needed for the perfect story and adventure. When peacocks, William Shakespeare and Virginia escape, Cassie along with her friend Jonas and dog Simon set off on a mission to find them. Through their adventures, Cassie uncovers the many mysteries that lay hidden within their family and friends behind layers of pain and heartache. The Peacock Detectives is a heart-warming story about change and growing up. Cassie talks to the reader and gives an insight into her world with a voice that is refreshing and captivating. I love the writing style, the language used is colourful and entertaining. I laughed and I cried, and my heart was full. Even when dealing with depression and grief, the author, Carly Nugent, had such a way with her words that even my ten-year-old daughter, couldn’t put it down.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jennie

    11 year old Cassie is a writer and a detective. Whilst searching for the neighbours missing peacocks over three seasons she discovers a number of family secrets that make her realise that life and families are not simple. The ongoing saga of the peacocks adds a more hopeful thread to the story as Cassie comes to know the habits of the birds. Cassie has to deal with changes in her 14 going on15 year old sister who no longer wants to do things with the family, a friend who runs away, a school 11 year old Cassie is a writer and a detective. Whilst searching for the neighbours missing peacocks over three seasons she discovers a number of family secrets that make her realise that life and families are not simple. The ongoing saga of the peacocks adds a more hopeful thread to the story as Cassie comes to know the habits of the birds. Cassie has to deal with changes in her 14 going on15 year old sister who no longer wants to do things with the family, a friend who runs away, a school bully, her mother's new cooking craze that leads to a new job and a new residence, the declining health of her grandpa and most significantly, the increasingly odd behaviour of her father has he withdraws from life, his family and caring for himself. Nugent deftly handles broken marriages, depression and loss through fresh and inquiring eyes as Cassie comes to terms with these challenges and starts to come to terms with change and to view life through more tolerant eyes.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nazneen

    My feelings about this book were pretty good going into it but I just could not get over the narration. Cassie is described as eleven-going-on-twelve but is written more as eight-going-on-nine. Her descriptions of many topics were very childish and she was very oblivious in a way that was not entirely realistic. That, however, would be my only complaint about this book. Other than that it is a lovely middle-grade read and short enough (about 300 pages) to be read in one sitting. My favorite My feelings about this book were pretty good going into it but I just could not get over the narration. Cassie is described as eleven-going-on-twelve but is written more as eight-going-on-nine. Her descriptions of many topics were very childish and she was very oblivious in a way that was not entirely realistic. That, however, would be my only complaint about this book. Other than that it is a lovely middle-grade read and short enough (about 300 pages) to be read in one sitting. My favorite relationship would definitely have to be between Cassie and her sister Diana as I feel, even in middle-grade, we do not get nearly enough positive relationships between sisters and theirs was written in a way that made it seem very real (I, like Diana and also Rhea, am an older sister so I could very much relate). The ending was very good albeit a bit bittersweet (no spoilers!) and I definitely would recommend this book. *7/10*

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    For a middle-grade novel, The Peacock Detectives touches on some pretty heavy themes, including mental illness, breakups and death. Cassie's narration allows for a sensitive, intelligent exploration of these issues, perfectly pitched for its young audience. This is a story of hope and growth. Cassie is an endearing protagonist - an enthusiastic if not always reliable storyteller. At its heart, this is her coming of age story, and I loved seeing the world through her eyes. Sensitive, naturally For a middle-grade novel, The Peacock Detectives touches on some pretty heavy themes, including mental illness, breakups and death. Cassie's narration allows for a sensitive, intelligent exploration of these issues, perfectly pitched for its young audience. This is a story of hope and growth. Cassie is an endearing protagonist - an enthusiastic if not always reliable storyteller. At its heart, this is her coming of age story, and I loved seeing the world through her eyes. Sensitive, naturally inquisitive and amusingly awkward, she feels very relatable and real. Her unique voice will appeal to older and younger readers alike. The Peacock Detectives is a beautifully written, bittersweet novel for young readers, a heartfelt story with a charming sense of humour. *Thank you to Netgalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review*

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    3.5. 11 year old Cassie has decided to write a story, and what better topic than her neighbor's missing peacock and peahen she's on the hunt for? But other things start to capture her thoughts more--her older sister turning vegetarian and Buddhist, her mom's obsession with her night cooking class, her dad's obsession with shopping, and why her grandfather isn't at church anymore--not to mention her best friend is struggling with his adoption and parents. It dives into separation, mental health, 3.5. 11 year old Cassie has decided to write a story, and what better topic than her neighbor's missing peacock and peahen she's on the hunt for? But other things start to capture her thoughts more--her older sister turning vegetarian and Buddhist, her mom's obsession with her night cooking class, her dad's obsession with shopping, and why her grandfather isn't at church anymore--not to mention her best friend is struggling with his adoption and parents. It dives into separation, mental health, and end of life, in some pretty gentle and understandable ways. Cassie felt pretty young at times, maybe because she so clearly lays out her thoughts and questions? It felt very structured in that way.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Hamer

    Enjoyed this story with my daughter who is nearly 8. There were pacing issues with the book and sometimes the English grammar lessons were a bit too much. Overall, however, it was a lovely story about an eleven, almost twelve year old and the dramas in her family and friends lives over the course of a year. It has a lot of heart and definitely worth reading. My daughter brought this home from the school library and Im sure she picked the book because she thought it would be a mystery, which she Enjoyed this story with my daughter who is nearly 8. There were pacing issues with the book and sometimes the English grammar lessons were a bit too much. Overall, however, it was a lovely story about an eleven, almost twelve year old and the dramas in her family and friends’ lives over the course of a year. It has a lot of heart and definitely worth reading. My daughter brought this home from the school library and I’m sure she picked the book because she thought it would be a mystery, which she loves. I did too, when I saw it. I am so glad I read it with her, as there was so much we had to discuss along the way, some heavy themes such as depression, family break up etc. I think she coped really well with the subject matter but she was disappointed it wasn’t what she expected also.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book started off slow and i wondered if I should be reading it to my kids, as the asides to the reader felt like they might appeal to younger children. But the themes that emerged as the story went on were not for younger children (running away, divorce, infidelity, mental illness). Id recommend it for ages 11+, and be cautious about recommending it to someone with divorced parents. They parents in the end of the book, although living separately, get together regularly for family dinners. This book started off slow and i wondered if I should be reading it to my kids, as the asides to the reader felt like they might appeal to younger children. But the themes that emerged as the story went on were not for younger children (running away, divorce, infidelity, mental illness). I’d recommend it for ages 11+, and be cautious about recommending it to someone with divorced parents. They parents in the end of the book, although living separately, get together regularly for family dinners. Presenting this idealised version of divorce could be upsetting for many who live in a very different reality. That said, I will definitely bring this one back out when my budding author is a bit older as she will relate the Cassie’s need to write.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Julia Tulloh Harper

    This was a fantastic middle grade novel that deserved its Readings Childrens Prize win! Its narrated by Cassie, who becomes a detective with her best friend Jonas, as they search the local town/bush for her neighbours peacocks. But really the peacocks just instigate a whole host of other mysteries to solve about Cassies family life, Jonas history, and friends from school. Excellent story about family dysfunction, mental health, and friendship. Some of the descriptions of depression were the best This was a fantastic middle grade novel that deserved its Readings Children’s Prize win! It’s narrated by Cassie, who becomes a ‘detective’ with her best friend Jonas, as they search the local town/bush for her neighbours’ peacocks. But really the peacocks just instigate a whole host of other ‘mysteries’ to solve about Cassie’s family life, Jonas’ history, and friends from school. Excellent story about family dysfunction, mental health, and friendship. Some of the descriptions of depression were the best I’d ever read. Can’t wait for more from this author.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cam

    Cassie Anderson is great at noticing details. She writes these in her "Notebook for Noticing", and likes to make stories out of her observations. When her neighbors discover their pair of peacocks is missing, they hire Cassie to find them. On her quest as a Peacock Detective, Cassie uncovers many truths; about her family, friends and life. This completely heartwarming story is narrated by an "eleven-turning-twelve" year old who is witty and wise. You will love her and her story beginning with Cassie Anderson is great at noticing details. She writes these in her "Notebook for Noticing", and likes to make stories out of her observations. When her neighbors discover their pair of peacocks is missing, they hire Cassie to find them. On her quest as a Peacock Detective, Cassie uncovers many truths; about her family, friends and life. This completely heartwarming story is narrated by an "eleven-turning-twelve" year old who is witty and wise. You will love her and her story beginning with the first chapter.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    I really enjoyed the book at the start, I was ready and excited to read the book. But when I got to chapter 3 I was wanting to give up on the book, but I kept reading it cause all my friends at school said I should keep on reading it cause I would enjoy it they said. So I kept reading it and by the time I was at chapter 13, I could not stop reading it on the bus when I was going to camp, when I arrived at camp(3 hours later) I was halfway into it. When I got back home I had finished it. But I I really enjoyed the book at the start, I was ready and excited to read the book. But when I got to chapter 3 I was wanting to give up on the book, but I kept reading it cause all my friends at school said I should keep on reading it cause I would enjoy it they said. So I kept reading it and by the time I was at chapter 13, I could not stop reading it on the bus when I was going to camp, when I arrived at camp(3 hours later) I was halfway into it. When I got back home I had finished it. But I definitely recommend this book to people from the age of 10-14.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Liz Filleul

    3.5 stars As others have said, this book was totally different from what I expected. I thought it would be a mystery, but it's a very serious, sad book, covering very deep themes including depression, family break-up, bullying and adoption. I'd have disliked this book at the target age range. As an adult I admired the writing and I liked the quirky characters. But it's not a detective story and anyone picking it up to read a good mystery is going to be a tad disappointed.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lillian

    This book made me think about family when they got a divorce and she chose to live with her dad over her mum because he felt like she needed to help her dad because he lost his job and was sad. The writer is teaching us about helping people because she helped her dad when he needed help. In my opinion is it is a really good book, I have read it twice now

  29. 5 out of 5

    AD

    I loved how the main character, Cassie, grows throughout this story in so many ways. In fact, all the characters felt very real to me and I cared about the challenges they were facing. I would have given the book more than 3.5 stars, except that I found the constant references to writing elements a bit clunky and distracting. Overall though, I really enjoyed this book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Anna Davidson

    3.5* A heartwarming story about family, friendship and finding your way in the world as an 11 year old girl. With themes of depression and family separation, this is a book for mature mid primary readers.

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