Audacity Jones to the Rescue

Written by Kirby Larson
Review by Arleigh Johnson

Audacity Jones is an 11-year-old orphan living at Miss Maisie’s School for Wayward Girls in Swayzee, Indiana. She’s not really wayward, but then none of the girls are. It’s a peculiar place, but to Audie, it is home. That is, until one day a certain Commodore Crutchfield, one of the establishment’s benefactors, needs a girl for a mission. Audie, looking for adventure, volunteers with alacrity and is headed out in one of the newfangled automobiles—all the way to Washington D.C. and the White House.

President Taft is hosting a New Year’s Day event, in which the “mission” is centered. Audie, however, has misgivings about the secretive plan and isn’t sure if she should trust the kindly, but distracted Commodore, his seemingly shady driver, or any of the other characters that figure into the situation. When the time comes for Audie’s involvement in the scheme, things go awry, and she must find a way to stop a plot she’s uncovered.

First in a new series, this children’s chapter book features a spunky, though very polite young sleuth whose biggest strength is knowledge—a theme made clear to readers. Friendship is also a highlighted subject that will resonate with young readers. An entirely plausible, if not probable, plot is actually based on a true story of one of President Taft’s relatives who went missing. The writing style is neat and inviting, but even more endearing are the characters—both human and animal—that weave in and out of the tale. This is a delightful read for young historical and mystery lovers!