What are Your Middle-Graders Reading This Summer?

If you are worried about some of the books out there for middle-graders/preteens/young adults, stop looking elsewhere and go to Jemsbooks.com for good values and family stories with Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series Books 1-6 for both boys and girls.

I plan to write a couple more of these mysteries over the next year or two. If your kids have read any of these books and love them, I would enjoy hearing from you and displaying their reviews here. Please contact me at jjspina(at)comcast(dot)net and find out how you can receive a chance to win a free book of your choice in a drawing for all who send in a photo of my book with or without you and a copy of your review from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Go to this link for more info on how you can get a chance to win a free book from Jemsbooks! This drawing ends June 28, 2019! So Hurry and send in your photo and review! Good Luck Everyone!

We authors love reviews and live for them each day! This is the way we know if the public enjoys our books. The reviews you post are encouragement for us to continue writing for your enjoyment. Thank you so much for your support!

Above is the link to all the books in this series on Amazon. It is also available on Barnes & Noble. You can also click covers to the right of this post for purchase.

This is an award-winning series – earning seven awards (4 Pinnacle Book Awards and 2 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, 1 Silver Medal in Authorsdb Cover Contest) and a Finalist in (Red City Review Book Awards contest).

BLURB: (Book 1 – The Case of the Missing Cell Phone)

Davey and Derek Donato are twins, but not identical, who love to play detective. They are always ready for adventure living in the sleepy little town of Lindon where nothing happens. The twins overhear about a sixth grader who lost her cell phone. The fifth grader twins kick into detective mode to solve their first case with the help of their friends, Mickey Catonni, aka Cat. Things don’t seem to add up when a bully gets into the mix.

Reviews on Amazon: (Book 1)

Mrs.D.5.0 out of 5 starsThink! Learn! Imagine!January 22, 2018Format: Kindle Edition“The Case of the Missing Cell Phone” is the first in the Davey and Derek junior detective series, where two twin boys are trying to solve the mystery of a missing expensive cell phone. I love the fact that this story is for both boys and girls. It makes readers think, act, and discover. It’s also very engaging and entertaining, with an emphasis on teaching superb life lessons in a very delicate way. While reading this story, children are encouraged to communicate and learn how to crack problems and develop their creativity.

David and Derek are two twins, but they are very different from each other. David is a logical kid and Derek is all action. Supervised by their assistant named Cat, the two young detectives are off to discover the mystery behind Christine’s cell phone. As they untangle the mystery of the missing phone, they realize that the job of a detective is very tough and sometimes uncomfortable, such as when they question their classmates and the people they know.

This is a very interesting read for middle school-age students that will keep them tickled and predicting. I love that the author touched on a few very important issues that accrue in every school: the bullying, stealing, and credulity. These are very important subjects for children who are that age. In her book, Janice Spina nicely conveyed these very important messages. Her story sparked some needed discussion about theft, bullying, and teamwork. It is full of interesting twists and turns, details and clues. It really keeps young readers’ attention as they turn page after page.

It is also a fantastic acknowledgment of friendship and what is all right and wrong, which is extremely important for that age, when children know that they’re all different and should be treated equally. Their own unique personality would shine if you gave them the chance.

“Davey & Derek, Junior Detectives” is intriguing for my taste, and I am sure that young readers will agree with me. The exciting story line will leave them wanting to know more and to see what happens next in this engaging series. A great mystery read for middle-school children!

Kevin Cooper5.0 out of 5 starsA Delightful StoryOctober 17, 2015Format: PaperbackThis is a delightful story; an enjoyable read for any middle grade child, and younger ones who are up on their reading.

The book is very well written. The conversational level and dialect are spot on. I wanted to be a boy again and be there, in on the action. If I had read this as a child, I would have been transported into Davey & Derek’s world in an instant. Both boys and girls alike will enjoy this book… it’s a gem.

The case of the Missing Cell Phone is the first case for the twin brothers who are fifth graders. They soon find out that being junior detectives is not easy work, especially when enquiries lead them to questioning boys who are in the sixth grade and much bigger than themselves. Add to that one who happens to be a bully… Then there are other complications as the mystery unfolds; things are not so straight forward as they may seem, and even the police become involved.

BLURB: (Book 2 – The Case of the Mystery of the Black Cat)

Davey and Derek Donato are twins, but not identical. They gleaned the idea to be detectives from a book their parents bought them on their tenth birthday. The twins discover a black cat and some magic when they visit with their Great Aunt Gigi. The cat tries to communicate with the boys. But what does the cat want to tell them?

Reviews on Amazon: (Book 2)

Robert5.0 out of 5 starsGreat StorySeptember 1, 2015Format: Kindle EditionVerified PurchaseBeing a grandparent and an avid reader I am always on the lookout for good clean books for my grandkids. Davey and Derek’s Aunt and Uncle settle in town after years of worldly travel, but there is something different about the Aunt that sets her apart from most Aunts – she is a good witch blessed with the gift of magic – one of which is her long deceased cat whoes aura lives on in a crystal ball and still tries to help people. Davey and Derek learn they to have a few magical powers of their own one of which is the cat trying to communicate with them and warn them one of their friends is going to get into serious trouble. The question is can they use this magic and prevent a catastrophy? Cute story – clean- refreshing – and not preachy. The Case of the Mysterious Black Cat will keep a young mind intrigued and reading way past their bedtime.

5.0 out of 5 starsBox Full of SurprisesJanuary 28, 2018Format: Kindle Edition“Mysterious Black Cat,” by Janice Spina, is the second book in the Davey & Derek series. The twin boys are spending the day with their relatives. To their surprise, Great Aunt Gigi is not an ordinary old lady, as the boys always thought of her. As the hours pass, they start to learn something interesting about Aunt Gigi and her long-dead black cat. What is the dead cat trying to tell them? Before Derek and Davey know it, they are off on another adventure.

As in her first story, Janice Spina incorporates the concepts of friendship and teamwork in tense circumstances. Young readers will lose themselves in exciting setups with thrilling twists and turns as Davey and Derek discover their new magical power. And when something bad happens to their best friend’s CAT little sister, the boys team up with Aunt Gigi and her mysterious black cat…

Another intriguing book for young adults! Just when you think you’ve gotten ahead of the story, something unexpected happens. I love how the engaging plot and magic in the story keeps readers on their toes, and how the author cleverly stirs the twist of magic into the book! A splendid mystery for young boys and girls!

BLURB: (Book 3 – The Case of the Magical Ivory Elephant)

Davey & Derek Donato are twins who love adventures and enjoy being junior detectives. In Book 3 of this series their help is enlisted to find an ivory figurine that has been taken from the local museum.
There are many suspects and danger is not far from the boys as they learn more magic and use their skills to find those responsible for the theft.
Their Aunt Gigi is close by to lend a hand and at the same time help the twins hone their magical gifts.

Reviews on Amazon: (Book 3)

Robbie Cheadle5.0 out of 5 starsAn action packed magical adventureFebruary 24, 2018Format: Kindle EditionVerified PurchaseThis is book 3 in the Davey & Derek junior detective series and it is the best one we have read to date. Michael loves these two adventurous boys and the addition of some real magic in their lives really added to his enjoyment of the tale. Magic wands and books in the hands of 11-year old boys really captivated him and my Dad has made him a wand out of wood, painted metallic blue, so that he could have one too. 

Davey and Derek learn the history and story of Aunt Gigi’s ivory elephant and discover some of this figurines magic. They are concerned for the safety of this figurine when they hear that a similar type of figurine has been stolen from the local museum. Certain local boys seem to be implicated in the crime and when a school peer asks the twins to help solve the case, Davey and Derek are thrilled to oblige. The boys embark on an exciting adventure to unwind the clues relating to the case, with some help and some confusion being provided by their magic books birthday gifts.

Michele Rolfe5.0 out of 5 starsThe next Hardy Boys!September 7, 2016Format: Kindle EditionThe twins Davey & Derek are at it again! Who stole the figurine from the museum & how is it connected to Aunt Gigi’s Ivory Elephant Figurine? This is the first book I have read of Janice’s & LOVED it! I was a Beta Reader for her & received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. This is a great book for kids who enjoy adventures. I LOVED Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys series as a young girl. Davey & Derek are the next generation of young Detectives, in my opinion. Great work Janice!!

BLURB: (Book 4 – The Case of the Brown Scraggly Dog) (FINALIST IN RED CITY REVIEW BOOK AWARDS)

Davey and Derek Donato are at it again in this new book. In this case they come across a brown scraggly dog with blood on its paw but when the boys try to stop the dog, it runs away.

Aunt Gigi is here once again to assist the boys with their magic and provide some new spells.

Clues surface that suggest that someone may be injured and in need of help. The boys will have to use their skills and a little magic to solve this case.

Reviews on Amazon: (Book 4)

Michelle Clements James5.0 out of 5 starsDelightful Story for Young ReadersMay 14, 2017Format: Kindle EditionJunior detectives, Davey and Derek Donato, are off again to solve another mystery with the help of Aunt Gigi’s magic and Mianna, the cat in Aunt Gigi’s crystal ball. The boys get into mischief as they try to discover what happened to the scraggly dog and how it’s paw got blood on it. The ending was a wonderful surprise and the kind of ending any child would love.
The author’s goal in writing books for children that bring to light life lessons that the children can learn from. These lessons include politeness (Davey and Derek are both polite boys), kindness (they are kind to the dog and to his owner, as well as to family and friends in this story), and sensitivity (they are concerned that their friend Mickey isn’t left out and that their mom doesn’t worry needlessly about them). Janice Spina accomplished her goal with The Case of the Brown Scraggly Dog.
This book is sure to delight. I highly recommend The Case of the Brown Scraggly Dog to young readers.
This book was gifted to me by the author in exchange for my honest review.

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne5.0 out of 5 starsAnother amazing mystery by Janice Spina!January 20, 2017Format: Kindle EditionThis time junior detectives Davey and Derek have a new adventure when a mysterious Scraggly dog appears in their neighborhood with blood on her paw. What happened? Where is her owner? Readers will love this mystery and be anxious to find out what happens next. The twins’ Aunt Gigi has her own magic to share and the boys learn more about amazing ways to travel.The story is engaging, as are all of Janice Spina’s tales.There’s even a surprise ending. Be sure to get your copy today.
*I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it.
Reviewed by children’s author, Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

BLURB: (Book 5 – The Case of the Sad Mischievous Ghost)

Twins Davey and Derek Donato are enlisted by two new characters, Abby and her cousin Holly, to assist them in finding and capturing the spooky beings that haunt their house.

When the boys visit Abby’s house they discover that this old Victorian holds many secrets and shocking revelations.

Davey and Derek soon find that they need the assistance of their Great Aunt Gigi to handle these mischievous phantoms.

Reviews on Amazon: (Book 5)

Sarah Reviews5.0 out of 5 starsAnother Winner!August 9, 2017Format: Kindle EditionThe wonderful and prolific author, Janice Spina, continues to entertain children with another terrific installment in the Davey and Derek Junior Detectives series, “The Case of the Sad Mischievous Ghost.” In this, the latest installment, Ms. Spina introduces the twins’ new cousins, Abby and Holly, who moved into a neighboring house that is haunted by ghosts. The frightened girls entreat the help of the now famous junior detectives. The twins, Davey and Derek, are not only excited about their new assignment but are also happy for the friendships developing between themselves and the lovely cousins. The story is most engaging and will entertain young readers going along for the ride, as the junior detectives, helped by their fabulous Aunt Gigi, tackle this new adventure.
Highly recommended!!

Mrs.D.5.0 out of 5 starsGhostly Mystery…February 8, 2018Format: Kindle EditionBoo! Another amusing middle grade mystery from accomplished author Janice Spina! The author’s standard for instilling the love of reading in children is impressive and proven.

Davey and Derek are two humble detectives who are very thoughtful of their friends and the people around them. Always helpful, they don’t hesitate to step in when their friend Abby announces that something unusual is happening in their old Victorian house. The twins immediately jump on the new case. What would an old house be without a ghost?

As in the previous books in this series, “The Case of the Sad Mischievous Ghost” meets the readers’ expectations. The young detectives face some challenges while unraveling the ghostly mystery, but with help from their mysterious Aunt Gigi and some other friends, they untangle it very professionally.

The twins are growing with her stories, and surprisingly they are that age when boys are noticing girls … and sweet friendships are developing between the twins and the pretty cousins.

BLURB: (Book 6 – The Case of the Mystery of the Bells)

Step into another magical and fun adventure with the twin detectives to solve this new mystery. There are clues at every turn, ghostly dreams with strange messages, and a surprise visitor that shakes things up. Even Aunt Gigi and Mianna are at a loss to provide any assistance to the boys.
Will Davey & Derek be able to solve this mystery of the bells? Where do they turn? Will they be able to put all the clues together? Can they use their new birthday gifts in this adventure? Find out what the boys do in this magical mystery.

Reviews on Amazon: (Book 6)

Trish5.0 out of 5 starsWholesome and fun!May 6, 2019Format: Kindle EditionFollow Davey and Derek on another magical journey of adventure in book 6 of Janice Spina’s Junior Detective series. You’ll find the very likable twins on a quest to unfold a mystery surrounding their beloved Aunt Gigi. See what hidden secrets the boys may uncover along the way concerning their ancestors. This is an enjoyable series for middle grade readers.

Michelle Clements James5.0 out of 5 starsI love the way the author portrayed the love and concern between the brothers.April 30, 2019Format: Kindle EditionI’ve read every book in the Davey & Derek Junior Detectives series and enjoyed each one. The Case of the Mystery of the Bells is my favorite so far. As with all of Janice Spina’s children’s books, this book teaches children positive values. The twins are always respectful to others and use good manners. One of the things that stood out for me in book 6 is when Davey had a bad dream, Derek jumped right in and offered his brother reassurance and then fixed him a cup of hot cocoa to calm him down. They always have each other’s back and are friends as much as twin brothers.
The boys Great Aunt Gigi, as we learn from earlier books, has special powers that Laura, Davey and Derek’s mother has inherited to some degree, but Davey and Derek to a much greater degree. The boys are learning how to handle these powers in a positive way and never misuse them. Aunt Gigi is their tutor in these mystical matters.
The characters are depicted in a way that makes them believable, including their powers. I especially love reading about Aunt Gigi. I can picture her greeting the children and inviting them in while bestowing her love upon them as she provides wonderful snacks and mystical experiences.
In Book 6 of the series we are introduced to Aunt Gigi’s twin sister Auriana and various other relatives from the realm of magic.
If you have middle grade children, I highly recommend this and any of the other books in the series, as well as those in the new Abby & Holly series. I can’t say enough about Janice Spina and her books.
As a Beta reader for Janice Spina, I was given an ARC by the author to read and comment back to her. I have voluntarily reviewed this book without compensation. The thoughts presented in this review are my honest evaluation of the book.

Thank you so much for your kind support and readership of my blog and books. I couldn’t do all this without you readers out there! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I hope you will check out all these books and other Jemsbooks on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for some fun adventures in reading for your kids and yourself.


Blessings & Hugs!



About jjspina

Janice is an multi-award-winning author with 42 books: 20 children's books for PS-Gr 4, 12 middle-grade/preteen, two young adult books, written under Janice Spina, and 7 novels, and a short story collection written under J.E. Spina. She is also a writer of poetry, blogger, avid reader, reviewer and a copy editor. Janice has always loved writing and started very young writing poetry, then stories. Her books have received 36 Book Awards and a few finalists awards. All Janice's books are available on Amazon.com, Kindle, B&N and other online book sites. One of her sports' poems was published in The Lawrence Eagle Tribune in October of 2008. She is currently working on book 3 of a YA fantasy series an and book 2 in an angel series. There will be six books in all in this series. She hopes to work on a series of four books in a crime/mystery genre that will be offsprings of her thriller, Hunting Mariah. There are books in the works about a dog for ages YA. Her hobbies are crocheting, sewing, walking to keep fit, hula hooping, tap dancing, going to the movies with her husband, and spending time with her five grandchildren. Janice loves to hear from readers and appreciates reviews. Sign up on her blog http://jemsbooks.blog for a copy of her newsletters under Contact Me. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband who is her illustrator and cover creator.
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7 Responses to What are Your Middle-Graders Reading This Summer?

  1. kevin cooper says:

    Good to see Davey and Derick are doing so well, Janice. 🙂

  2. noelleg44 says:

    Great books for sixth graders!

  3. Jennie says:

    Excellent post, highlighting blurbs and reviews. Summer reading for kids at it’s best!

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