The Dreables, A Merryweathers Mystery
Ten-year-old Sam Jones has about had it with getting shuffled off to Gran's house whenever his parents go on hiking vacations: she's superstitious, has tons of nonsensical rules (no whistling after dark), and never has any interest in letting him do anything fun. But one day while they're on "vacation" together, her car breaks down, and a girl appears in the mist from their radiator, asking for Mother Merryweather's help. The Dreables have returned...This book, a very enjoyable read, walks a fine line on the lesson of being polite. There are some real stinkers of kids' books out there that all they do is preach, preach, preach. This isn't that kind of book. While it looks like, in the beginning of the book, that it's going to be about the value of being nice and polite, it's not. If there's any real lesson here, it's that sometimes old people are more interesting than your parents, and have awesome things to teach...as long as you can get them to open up. Despite going off about the value of politeness, Gran isn't the nicest, most perfect, most trusting soul out there. She's a glutton for sweets, thinks Sam is nothing but a brat, doesn't want to get dragged into saving other people...and doesn't listen to the animals around her, after making a big stinking deal about how they just "know" the truth about people. Gran has to learn as much, if not more, than Sam does, and it's interesting (as an adult) to watch her have to grow and adapt.