Hazel Kaplansky is a firm believer in the pursuit of knowledge and truth—and she also happens to love a good mystery. When suspicions swirl that a Russian spy has infiltrated her small town of Maple Hill, Vermont, amidst the fervor of Cold War era McCarthyism, Hazel knows it’s up to her to find a suspect… starting with Mr. Jones, the quietly suspicious grave digger. Plus she’s found a perfect sleuthing partner in Samuel Butler, the new boy in school with a few secrets of his own. But as Hazel and Samuel piece together clues from the past and present, the truth is suddenly not what they expected, and what they find reveals more about themselves and the people of their cozy little town than they could ever have imagined. – Goodreads
Perfect! Middle! Grade! Mystery! Hearts in my eyes!
That could be my whole review and that would honestly be an excellent review. I loved and adored The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill. I wish there were more books like this one when I was in elementary/middle school. Heck. I wish there were more books like this out now. The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill is just an overall cute story. The main character is Hazel, and Hazel is a little out there in the eyes of her classmates and the people in the town. Hazel loves facts, truth, and mysteries. Which is perfect because her small town of Maple Hill, VT has grown suspicious of multiple people, because McCarthyism is at an all time high and you can trust no one. (Is that why I’m paranoid? I’m from Wisconsin…)
Hazel wants more out of her life than this small down she lives in. Her best friend moved to Tucson, AZ, the other girls in her class don’t understand her, and the new guy wants to be her friend, but he’s weird and has secrets of his own. Does she want to be friends with the weird guy?
Very organically, she becomes friends with that “weird” guy: Samuel. Samuel has his own life problems and does not want to be pulled into Hazel’s weird games and mysteries. But they do, and slowly a friendship is formed. Hazel also learns that what you perceive to be true, is not necessarily true. It was fascinating to see Hazel change and grow in this novel with help from her friends, family and herself.