Saturday, December 3, 2016

A Mystery for Mr. Bass by Eleanor Cameron

  • THE BOOK
    • A Mystery for Mr. Bass by Eleanor Cameron
    • Published in 1960
    • This is the 4th book in the Mushroom Planet series. Other works by author include the Julia Redfern series and many other books for children

  • THE PREMISE
    • Continuing the series in The Mushroom Planet books, fossil bones are discovered in Pacific Grove by the two boy protagonists, David and Chuck.
    • The bones turn out to be 500,000 year old and glow green. They are the bones of a Mushroom person, like Mr. Bass, and are only supposed to be interred in the secret burial grounds hidden from human eyes in Wales.
      • Removing the bones from their resting place is supposed to bring terrible luck to the person who removes the. Prewytt Brumblydge, introduced in an earlier book, is having a bad run of luck. Is he the culprit? Mr. Tyco Bass is on the case!
    • The council of the Mycetians, another term for the Mushroom People, meet in Wales, putting Prewytt on trial. David and Chuck accompany Mr. Bass to the trial in their spaceship.

  • MY THOUGHTS
    • This was probably my least favorite of the books so far. I thought the plot was a little confusing and I never really understood why the bones were stolen in the first place.
      • I was also wondering if the presence of Mushroom People on Earth was supposed to be known or a big secret.
    • Mr. Bass is always popping in and out of the first four books so you like his character but you never really get to know him well. (Spoiler alert: I am currently reading the last book in the series and Mr. Bass is front and center and you finally learn all about him!)
    • The books are very 1950s in their science and customs as the stories take place before 1957 and Sputnik and the space race. The author is refreshingly modern in her sensibilities, however, and the science is accurate for its time.
    • I only read the first book in the series as a kid which is too bad. I would have loved to read the whole series as a kid. I guess I didn't know there were more books.
    • I have the 5 books of the author's Julia Redfern series from the library and I am looking forward to see her work with a female protagonist despite the fact that it's not science fiction.
    • Recommended for middle school ages and up.

4 comments:

  1. Love your blog and your critique. I just finished Mr Bass's Planetoid last night. I love these books! I have book 5, but I was wondering if you know where I can buy or download a mystery for mr bass, so I can continue the series I originally started in 1981. Don't care about condition, I just need the story! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on book 5. Thanks!!

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    1. Hi Larry, Thanks for your kind words! I got the book from my library. I wish I had a copy myself so I could send it to you. I notice that physical copies on places like Amazon or Abebooks are way too expensive! So give your local library a try. Review of book 5 will post in the next week or so! Eleanor Cameron was a wonderful writer.

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  2. Thank you! I will giv it a try. I never knew there were any past the first when I was in elementary school and I've been enjoying these stories and her idea of space travel even before we got there. I agree, I've looked on the internet and the prices definitely are way up there. Hopefully I find a copy so I can keep up with your blog :) Thanks again!

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