5th Grade and Up
Keenan has lived all over the world but nowhere quite as strange as Centerlight Island, which is split between the United States and Canada. The only thing weirder than Centerlight itself is his neighbor Zarabeth, aka ZeeBee.
ZeeBee is obsessed with the islands history as a Prohibition-era smuggling route. Shes also convinced that her beloved dog, Barney, was murderedsomething Keenan finds pretty hard to believe.
Just about everyone on Centerlight is a suspect, because everyone hated Barney, a huge dogpart mastiff, part Rottweilernotorious for terrorizing the community. Accompanied by a mild-mannered new dog who is practically Barneys opposite, ZeeBee enlists Keenans help to solve the mystery.
As Keenan and ZeeBee start to unravel the clues, they uncover a shocking conspiracy that dates back to Centerlights gangster past. The good news is that Keenan may have found the best friend hes ever had. The bad news is that the stakes are sky-high.
And now someone is after them. . .
Each chapter is told from a different character’s point of view, mainly focusing on Keenan and ZeeBee with a few other characters thrown in.
The setting of an island town bordering the U.S.A. and Canada is not only interesting its also ridiculous.
By ridiculous I mean its ridiculous how everyone made a big deal about what happens on whose side of the border and who is Canadian and who is American. I get that the United States and Canada are different countries with different money, laws, flags, and French fry toppings. But when you live on the border of both countries, where you can Pass gas anywhere in Centerlight and they smell it is two different countries, are certain things really worth being so hostile about? At times, the whole border felt like something from a cartoon where someone uses duct tape to split a room down the middle. I know thats not how borders between countries work, but thats just what it felt like.
ZeeBee is definitely an odd person. She knows every historical gangster landmark in town and what violent and/or illegal event happened there, which I found both morbid and fascinating. This is just one of the few reasons why most of Centerlight doesnt like her. The main reason being her monster mutt of a dog, Barney. Nothing your dog has ever done could compare to what Barney has done. This dog wreaked havoc throughout the town, terrorizing both the U.S. and Canada, tearing up gardens, damaging property, and stealing food from stores.The only person who loved Barney was ZeeBee and it breaks her heart that she is the only one who cares that hes dead. When you truly love your dog, you love them no matter what they do.
A good portion of this story isnt just about solving Barney the dogs murder. Theres why Keenan is living on Centerlight Island, friend drama between Keenan and ZeeBee, U.S. and Canada drama, etc. But I wont be getting into that.
In conclusion, this is a great adventure/mystery story with a unique setting with strong realistic characters.
This weeks Weird but True Fact about Dog Sizes and the U.S./Canadian Border
If humans came in as many sizes as dogs, wed range from three to eighteen feet tall.
At an opera house on the U.S. Canadian border, the stage is in Canada while most seats are in the United States.