Publish Date: September 2, 2011
Origins: From Author for Review
Order From: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Synopsis: The Jinson twins, Joe and Debbie, decide to start a business during their summer vacation, hiring themselves out to do odd jobs. They find themselves in an odder job than they counted on when Mrs. Gray, who lives with her talkative parrot, the Captain, in an old house down off River Road, engages them to help clean out her basement. Aided by their friend, Mr. Benjamin, the proprietor of the Resource Recovery and Recycling Center (a.k.a. the junkyard), the twins use the clues that Mrs. Gray’s late husband, a former sea captain, left behind to figure out, using scientific principles, where the captain hid his enormous collection of antique Spanish gold coins. But some other people know about the treasure too and have no intention of letting an old lady who spends most of her time with a parrot, an old man who runs a junkyard, and a couple of kids get the treasure.
Review: The Jinson Twins, Science Detectives, and The Mystery of Echo Lake is a good book to engage kids in science while they read along to figure out the mystery. I think it's important for kids to know how science and math impacts our everyday lives. The story reminded me a lot of when I was little and voraciously read all the Encyclopedia Brown books. However, instead of the twins knowing all of the information ahead of time, they learn it along the way with the reader. I liked the characters and the adventure; however, I feel both could have benefited from some further background information included to make it more in-depth. Perhaps some of the background got lost in the emphasis on making the book more science-oriented. I enjoyed the story and I learned a bit more about the world myself. I'd love to read future exploits and adventures of the Jinson Twins!