zeldaSigned by Zelda by Kate Feiffer
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Source: Library
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

An aspiring handwriting analyst tracks down her missing neighbor in this caper from the author of The Problem with the Puddles.

More than anything, eleven-year-old Lucy wants to be the world’s most famous handwriting expert. “You can learn a lot about a person through how they write their I’s,” she tells her friend, Pigeon—who just so happens to be a talking bird. When Lucy’s neighbor Zelda goes missing and the only clue is a cryptic handwritten note, Lucy is determined to crack the case using her graphology skills. With some help from Nicky, who lives upstairs, and plenty of advice from Pigeon (who just so happens to be very opinionated), can Lucy decipher the whereabouts of her apartment building’s missing resident? – Goodreads

I’ve been on a middle grade/grade school book kick lately. I am in the final stretch of graduate school and the only way to not complain as much is to read books of my childhood, or books I wish I had in my childhood. Signed by Zelda is one of those books I had when I was a child.

Lucy has moved to New York City from Savannah, GA. It’s a complete change to her. What helps her through this change is the fact that she has a love of handwriting, and her friends in Georgia sent her with a notebook dedicated to handwriting. She loves signatures and what they mean. As a child, I was on Lucy’s side. I found handwriting fascinating. A group of my classmates and I learned how to write together and yet our handwriting was completely different from one another’s.

This book even gives a few lessons throughout the novel by telling the reader that different aspects of writing mean different things without making it seem like HEY LOOK YOU’RE LEARNING! Which is always awesome for a book of any reading level. Lucy moves into an apartment building, and above her lives Nicky, and above Nicky lives his Grandma, Zelda. One day Grandma Zelda goes missing. Nicky, with the help of Lucy (and her handwriting detective skills), and a talking pigeon (who has their opinions and plenty of them), go on the hunt for Grandma Zelda.

I understand that it sounds weird, but it works. And it works extremely well. With many twists and turns it is an excellent grade school book with the right amount of history, learning and mystery in it.