Summer of Suspense


159 pages
ISBN 1-55285-362-4
DDC jC813'.54





Reviewed by Alice Kidd

Alice Kidd is an editor with The New Catalyst editorial collective in
Lillooet, B.C.


Kristin Butcher provides a great introduction to the Science Squad
Adventure Series and to the Canadian Association for Girls in Science
(CAGIS). A key ingredient in the making of a scientist is exposure to
the practice of experimentation. In the past this opportunity has been
missing for many girls. All too often an interest in science has meant
that one is alone in that interest. As a member of CAGIS, a girl has the
opportunity to meet both practising scientists and other girls with
similar interests.

Summer of Suspense, the first in the series, is more than an adventure
story. In addition to the plot, there are short background articles, as
well as suggested experiments. The articles are well written, supported
by reference to Web sites and set off from the story with a distinctive
frame. The experiments are presented in a common format with suggested
procedure and questions, some discussion, and further reading. A more
prominent border for the experiments would have made reading the story

The story stands on its own. The three main characters in the
book—Sue, Nicole, and Gina—are based on actual CAGIS members. They
exemplify the curiosity and questioning attitude of scientists. Yet they
also show the wide range of interests and skills that support a
scientific perspective. The girls differ in talents and favorite
subjects, yet they cooperate to solve problems.

Summer of Suspense is a book worth sharing with preteen girls. It will
not appeal to all readers, but for many girls there will be that moment
of recognition, “That could be me!” Highly recommended.


Butcher, Kristin., “Summer of Suspense,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 30, 2024,