A Medal for a Mystery

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The Kudo Kids and the Mystery of the Masked Medalist is a novel for middle-grade readers, written by Maia and Alex Shibutani, and Michelle Schusterman. The Shibutanis, aka the “Shib Sibs” are Olympic figure-skating bronze medalists.

The first book in the Kudo Kids series follows the adventure of Mika and Andy Kudo visiting Japan for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. There is a masked medalist who is holding a competition called OlympiFan. The game features clues to virtual medals all around the city of Tokyo and clues to the medalist’s identity. OlympiFan throws out interesting twists and turns in a fun way, though totally appropriate for beginner-intermediate readers. 

The writing was very fluid, and each chapter alternated between either sibling. It was all very clear and the authors did a very good job of describing the characters’ endeavors. The only mature-esque thing that came up was Mika and her Instagram account, and how an anonymous profile appeared to be following and direct-messaging her. It presents the dangers of social media in a softer way.

The characters weren’t very dynamic, though considering it’s a book focused more on the adventure and plot than in-depth characterization, it was still very enjoyable. The Mystery of the Masked Medalist is about 260 pages and was the ideal length for a riveting but seemingly quick read.

Since this book is for middle-grade readers, it would be a perfect fit for lovers of Rob Buyeau, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, and Lisa Graff. This novel is great for 4th to 7th graders because of the enthralling plot. The story is complex, though easy to follow. So why not? The Mystery of the Masked Medalist by Maia Shibutani, Alex Shibutani, and Michelle Schusterman is an exciting