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Room One: A Mystery or Two

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Ted Hammond loves a good mystery, and in the spring of his fifth-grade year, he's working on a big one. How can his school in the little town of Plattsford stay open next year if there are going to be only five students? Out here on the Great Plains in western Nebraska, everyone understands that if you lose the school, you lose the town. But the mystery that has Ted's fu Ted Hammond loves a good mystery, and in the spring of his fifth-grade year, he's working on a big one. How can his school in the little town of Plattsford stay open next year if there are going to be only five students? Out here on the Great Plains in western Nebraska, everyone understands that if you lose the school, you lose the town. But the mystery that has Ted's full attention at the moment is about that face, the face he sees in the upper window of the Andersons' house as he rides past on his paper route. The Andersons moved away two years ago, and their old farmhouse is empty, boarded up tight. At least it's supposed to be. A shrinking school in a dying town. A face in the window of an empty house. At first these facts don't seem to be related. But Ted Hammond learns that in a very small town, there's no such thing as an isolated event. And the solution of one mystery is often the beginning of another.


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Ted Hammond loves a good mystery, and in the spring of his fifth-grade year, he's working on a big one. How can his school in the little town of Plattsford stay open next year if there are going to be only five students? Out here on the Great Plains in western Nebraska, everyone understands that if you lose the school, you lose the town. But the mystery that has Ted's fu Ted Hammond loves a good mystery, and in the spring of his fifth-grade year, he's working on a big one. How can his school in the little town of Plattsford stay open next year if there are going to be only five students? Out here on the Great Plains in western Nebraska, everyone understands that if you lose the school, you lose the town. But the mystery that has Ted's full attention at the moment is about that face, the face he sees in the upper window of the Andersons' house as he rides past on his paper route. The Andersons moved away two years ago, and their old farmhouse is empty, boarded up tight. At least it's supposed to be. A shrinking school in a dying town. A face in the window of an empty house. At first these facts don't seem to be related. But Ted Hammond learns that in a very small town, there's no such thing as an isolated event. And the solution of one mystery is often the beginning of another.

30 review for Room One: A Mystery or Two

  1. 4 out of 5

    Felix Raeber

    This book is about a boy named Ted Hammon, he solved a mystery of what he didn't know about. This book is an amazing mystery book. It has a lot of feelings like when a girl was gone because they were living in an abandoned farmhouse and they had relatives. The girl (April) and her family were there because their car ran out of gas, The family had no money, so Ted was very nice and brought food for them. I recommend this book to people who like mysteries, like in this book. Everyday he would go to This book is about a boy named Ted Hammon, he solved a mystery of what he didn't know about. This book is an amazing mystery book. It has a lot of feelings like when a girl was gone because they were living in an abandoned farmhouse and they had relatives. The girl (April) and her family were there because their car ran out of gas, The family had no money, so Ted was very nice and brought food for them. I recommend this book to people who like mysteries, like in this book. Everyday he would go to the abandoned farmhouse to find clues to find where the girls family went. Soon enough, someone told him that they were a place in the book where the had relatives. This was one of the best books I ever read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea D

    This book is about a boy named Ted Hammond. He really loves solving mysteries. One day when he saw a face where Andersons' house from 2 years ago. Ted saw that face again the same thing as where he saw it from Andersons' house too. He knew that this face has something that is should be solved. I like this book because it's interesting. It's interesting because of the face that he saw 2 years ago.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Kotkin

    I do like the mystery elements woven throughout this book. But since this story is realistic fiction, I have some issues with the level of realism, particularly as it pertains to the homelessness. Even a grief-stricken, frightened mother wouldn't keep her two children in an abandoned house with no electricity or running water and little food, not to mention the lack of school attendance. Only a seriously mentally ill mother might subject her children to those conditions, and the mother in this s I do like the mystery elements woven throughout this book. But since this story is realistic fiction, I have some issues with the level of realism, particularly as it pertains to the homelessness. Even a grief-stricken, frightened mother wouldn't keep her two children in an abandoned house with no electricity or running water and little food, not to mention the lack of school attendance. Only a seriously mentally ill mother might subject her children to those conditions, and the mother in this story isn't portrayed in that way. Also, the teacher is a mandated reporter of child abuse and neglect, and would not have been able to conceal the secret that she promised to keep. While things end well for the homeless family, the ending isn't completely satisfying for the protagonist or for readers.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    This summer, I've been searching for some excellent read-alouds for my 4th grade class. I picked Room One: A Mystery or Two because it hinted at being an adventurous mystery story that I hoped would capture my students' interests. The author, Andrew Clements has also written several kid-friendly and teacher-pleasing books, such as Frindle. I was somewhat disappointed with this book. As a teacher, I found the commentary about teaching in a one room school fascinating. However, I think my students This summer, I've been searching for some excellent read-alouds for my 4th grade class. I picked Room One: A Mystery or Two because it hinted at being an adventurous mystery story that I hoped would capture my students' interests. The author, Andrew Clements has also written several kid-friendly and teacher-pleasing books, such as Frindle. I was somewhat disappointed with this book. As a teacher, I found the commentary about teaching in a one room school fascinating. However, I think my students would be bored to death over the slow "small town life" drag of the book. There wasn't really much of the promised mystery, once you got past the first few chapters. Ted sees a mysterious face in an abandoned house, but he discovers quickly who it is and why this person is there and there's not much excitement, adventure, or mystery after that. Also, in comparison to previous Clement's books, the characters were pretty undeveloped and cliched. While I imagine a few of my kids might like this book, it didn't have a quick enough pace to be read-aloud or to capture the majority of my students' interest. It just didn't live up to Clement's standard as a writer. The one thing that I do like about Clement's books, and appreciated in this one, is that he always includes some kind of ethical issues which can lead to great class discussions and teachable moments. Room One talks about trust, breaking promises, counting on others for help, honesty, responsibility, and the role of parents and community.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Star Frasier

    Personal response: I enjoyed the book Room One a Mystery or Two, because it told me how it was to find a homeless family in an abandon house and promise to help them to get them back on their feet Plot: This book started out with Ted, the main character, on his way to drop off the newspapers to the townspeople. He passed an abandoned house and saw a girl in the window. Later, he went to the house and he found the girl, her brother Artie, and her mom Alexa. Their car had broken down so they had to Personal response: I enjoyed the book Room One a Mystery or Two, because it told me how it was to find a homeless family in an abandon house and promise to help them to get them back on their feet Plot: This book started out with Ted, the main character, on his way to drop off the newspapers to the townspeople. He passed an abandoned house and saw a girl in the window. Later, he went to the house and he found the girl, her brother Artie, and her mom Alexa. Their car had broken down so they had to break into the abandoned house. Ted promised not to tell and get them food. He told his teacher and made her promise not to tell because she saw him leave the abandoned house. Some high school students were messing around at the house. The family hid. The police showed up at the house and the family ran to the other abandoned house about a mile away. In the end the family went to Alexa’s sister’s house to live. Recommendation: I would recommend this book to both genders from ages 14+, so they can get a clear understanding. I recommend both genders read this book because I think both gender would enjoy reading about a homeless family and a boy who helped them. They also could find out how hard it would be to keep a secret.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Caitlyn Scott

    I liked this book and I liked the mysteries in it. The ending was different from what I predicted and not as happy as the one I was thinking.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Brennan

    The mystery novel, “Room One: A Mystery or Two” by Andrew Clements is an adventurous story for 5th or 6th graders. The story takes place in a small town in Nebraska that struggles to bring in enough children to have a functional school. The protagonist, Ted Hammond, a 6th grade mystery lover takes readers through an important experience in his life. While out on his paper route one morning, Ted sees a face in a window of an abandoned house in his community. Being the curious boy he is, he can’t The mystery novel, “Room One: A Mystery or Two” by Andrew Clements is an adventurous story for 5th or 6th graders. The story takes place in a small town in Nebraska that struggles to bring in enough children to have a functional school. The protagonist, Ted Hammond, a 6th grade mystery lover takes readers through an important experience in his life. While out on his paper route one morning, Ted sees a face in a window of an abandoned house in his community. Being the curious boy he is, he can’t let what he saw go and decides to investigate the situation. When Ted finds a girl his age with her family living on this abandoned farm, he takes it upon himself to help them. But will Ted be able to help this family without exposing their trespassing and getting in trouble himself? Ted realizes there may be more to the story than this family is letting on and although he is an expert in mystery novels, this is real life. The rest of the novel takes Ted through a roller coaster trying to honor his values while keeping promises but I won’t give away the ending! I would definitely use this novel in my classroom in the future. One method could be including it in my class library under mystery/adventure sections for students to read during silent reading time as a choice book. To practice comprehension skills I would assign a book report project for student choice books and students would have a variety of options as a report. Another instructional method would be assigning this book during book clubs with the genre of adventure/mystery. I think this book is interesting and engaging which would spark rich discussions between students. I would encourage practicing inferential comprehension skills by asking students to make inferences and share how they think the mystery will end. I chose this as one of my WOW books because as a college student, I was so hooked in solving this mystery that I read this book in one day. The author Andrew Clements wrote many of my favorite novels growing up that I knew I would enjoy another one of his books. I love reading about adventures and this was an endearing story that had me feeling connected to the characters. It was unexpected and exciting which is how an adventure book should be, so I think many students will enjoy reading it as well. I read this book as a hardcover novel!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mariah Mead

    I'm currently re-reading all of my Andrew Clements books and really enjoying them. This one in particular is well written, something that pulls you in.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Taron

    In the book Room One a story by Andrew Clemings is a book about a mystery that a boy named Ted Hammond tries to untie about a face he sees in the old Anderson farm that is abandoned. He sends them supplies for the people in the farm. There are three people in the abandoned farm a young boy named Arthur,the mother,and April the girl who he saw in the window.Ted tries to help the family in need but accidentely gets caught by his teacher from school which he tells the whole story to.Then the family In the book Room One a story by Andrew Clemings is a book about a mystery that a boy named Ted Hammond tries to untie about a face he sees in the old Anderson farm that is abandoned. He sends them supplies for the people in the farm. There are three people in the abandoned farm a young boy named Arthur,the mother,and April the girl who he saw in the window.Ted tries to help the family in need but accidentely gets caught by his teacher from school which he tells the whole story to.Then the family moves down the street to a abandoned house that Ted did not notice until he found clues because he wanted to be a good detective he moves down to the house and sees April then greets her and gives her supplies meanwhile the town finds out then he become hero of the town for finding the family.The lost family gets a escort from the police and goes to live with there relatives.Finally April leaves a book in the farm a book of Sherlock Holmes greatest detective. I think the authors message in this book is to prove that the smallest of children basically anybody can help everyone that wants help.I srongly recommend this book this basically proves that anyone be helped.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Braden Hammitt

    Personally I thought the book was well written but progressed through the plot too slow at points. I am also not sure how I feel about the ending yet. I like how down to earth and real the ending was but, at the same time it seemed very abrupt and the whole climax the story was building towards was simply skipped over. The ending of the story felt like it took away from the significance of the rest of the book too. If it was as easy as one phone call for the family to go from homeless and living Personally I thought the book was well written but progressed through the plot too slow at points. I am also not sure how I feel about the ending yet. I like how down to earth and real the ending was but, at the same time it seemed very abrupt and the whole climax the story was building towards was simply skipped over. The ending of the story felt like it took away from the significance of the rest of the book too. If it was as easy as one phone call for the family to go from homeless and living a secret life hidden in abandoned, rundown houses, then why didn't they do that earlier on when they were struggling to get food? However, the encouraging message the book gave that no one is too young or insignificant to make a huge difference in someone else's life or the world shone through strongly.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jodelyn

    I enjoyed this book as much as I did on the other books I've read so far. This book was an easy read and at some point it made me want to keep predicting on what was going to happen next. I highly recommend my friends to read this book who likes mystery. Andrew Clements is now one of my favorite authors.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    I like Andrew Clements, but this one was just ok. Yes, it's realistic fiction, and yes, it did end realistically, but the ending felt flat to me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Eshaan

    This was a really exciting, page turning book. This was really exhilarating because it had kindness and arguments and other components to make a perfect book. For example, in page 21-23, it states "Ted pushed the board aside, and as he backed out, the sudden brightness of the afternoon sky almost blinded him. But he could make out see clearly enough to be sure it was a girl." and ""Could prob'ly use some food since you've got to come by here tomorrow anyway." It was the last thing the girl said This was a really exciting, page turning book. This was really exhilarating because it had kindness and arguments and other components to make a perfect book. For example, in page 21-23, it states "Ted pushed the board aside, and as he backed out, the sudden brightness of the afternoon sky almost blinded him. But he could make out see clearly enough to be sure it was a girl." and ""Could prob'ly use some food since you've got to come by here tomorrow anyway." It was the last thing the girl said to him before he left, more like and order than a request. And Ted nodded and said, "Sure thing.". This is exiting because Ted just met an unknown girl and told her randomly that he would bring her some food (which is not too sensible, but still thrilling). Hence, this is a very stirring story for mystery lovers.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Madison

    Ted Hammond grew up in a very little town in Nebraska and he was the only 6th grader in the town. During his free time he loves reading about mysteries and when one happened in his own town he couldn't help but try to solve it himself. The Anderson house had him distracted from his chores and school work for some time while trying to solve the mystery.After reading the book I thought it was a little predictable and it was easy to guess what was going to happen in the end. However, for younger st Ted Hammond grew up in a very little town in Nebraska and he was the only 6th grader in the town. During his free time he loves reading about mysteries and when one happened in his own town he couldn't help but try to solve it himself. The Anderson house had him distracted from his chores and school work for some time while trying to solve the mystery.After reading the book I thought it was a little predictable and it was easy to guess what was going to happen in the end. However, for younger students it is an easy read and has a lot going on. Also since Ted is a sixth grader it is relatable towards students, so as a teacher I can see myself using this book in my classroom as a fun way to introduce mystery books to students.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marc Villegas

    My favorite quote of the book is to ¨never give up, keep trying.The book seem realistic because he broke his leg in a ditch, I broke my leg too. I like the book because it was a adventure book, he explored and I like to explore too. It change from happy to sad. The characters were believable because when Ted was going to the hospital it was his birthday and his cousins came and brought him flowers balloons & flowers for him, then sang happy birthday.The book made me feel sad. What I had in commo My favorite quote of the book is to ¨never give up, keep trying.The book seem realistic because he broke his leg in a ditch, I broke my leg too. I like the book because it was a adventure book, he explored and I like to explore too. It change from happy to sad. The characters were believable because when Ted was going to the hospital it was his birthday and his cousins came and brought him flowers balloons & flowers for him, then sang happy birthday.The book made me feel sad. What I had in common is that we both love to ride bikes in the springtime. My favorite thing in the book is that where he find some creative stuff in the woods. My least favorite thing in the book is where he broke his leg. I would change where he would did not break his leg.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    A cute little mystery story for the elementary school reader set in the fictional west central Nebraska town of Plattsford. Ted Hammond is the only sixth grader in the towns shrinking school and residents are worried that they will loose their school and with it their town. When Ted, who has read every mystery in the school and town libraries, spies a face in the window of an abandoned farmhouse he uses what he has learned from his reading and investigates. I enjoyed this books look at a small N A cute little mystery story for the elementary school reader set in the fictional west central Nebraska town of Plattsford. Ted Hammond is the only sixth grader in the towns shrinking school and residents are worried that they will loose their school and with it their town. When Ted, who has read every mystery in the school and town libraries, spies a face in the window of an abandoned farmhouse he uses what he has learned from his reading and investigates. I enjoyed this books look at a small Nebraska town through the eyes of a sixth grader and to some extent his teacher. This book has a good message that was well done and presented in a surprising way that makes the reader think.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nate

    Within the first few paragraphs of this book, I wasn't sure if I would really like it, but it definitely grew on me after a chapter or two. The main character is a boy who lives in a dying town and... you guessed it, loves to read. His personal favorite is mysteries, giving some nuance from the author's other books, and when a mystery presents itself in his town, he dives right in. The book addresses some difficult concepts in a pretty effective way, I thought. However, the ending was a little d Within the first few paragraphs of this book, I wasn't sure if I would really like it, but it definitely grew on me after a chapter or two. The main character is a boy who lives in a dying town and... you guessed it, loves to read. His personal favorite is mysteries, giving some nuance from the author's other books, and when a mystery presents itself in his town, he dives right in. The book addresses some difficult concepts in a pretty effective way, I thought. However, the ending was a little disappointing for me. I won't ruin the surprises, but will note that the ending is certainly happy, just not what I would have preferred.

  18. 5 out of 5

    ashes ➷

    I love this book! It’s my old favorite from Clements; I remember very few libraries having it for some reason when I first read it... I was so desperate to grab it whenever I could! Now I own it, so I gave it another read. Really sweet, and a complicated subject. My one issue is that it handles the injustices of the world the way many kids’ books do—a town steps up, some people do nice things, and the problems are solved. There’s no acknowledgment of the greater causes to oppression and poverty.. I love this book! It’s my old favorite from Clements; I remember very few libraries having it for some reason when I first read it... I was so desperate to grab it whenever I could! Now I own it, so I gave it another read. Really sweet, and a complicated subject. My one issue is that it handles the injustices of the world the way many kids’ books do—a town steps up, some people do nice things, and the problems are solved. There’s no acknowledgment of the greater causes to oppression and poverty... and there’s some army boot-licking. But it’s a nice story, and I can’t expect Clements to overthrow the government on his own, so I’d gladly recommend it all the same.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Maizie Collins

    This book was amazing. I learned from the story that everyone has an advencher inside and to never stop trying. I liked this book cause first it was very miterios and adventures. second it was very suprising like when Tom said,"HELLO ALEXA". I was so suprised. Therd was that it would ask questons that I would awnser myself. And last it is very good just to read, for fun. I liked Alexa cause she wasn't afraid of anything. I would recommend this book to any kids who like adventure and mysteries. O This book was amazing. I learned from the story that everyone has an advencher inside and to never stop trying. I liked this book cause first it was very miterios and adventures. second it was very suprising like when Tom said,"HELLO ALEXA". I was so suprised. Therd was that it would ask questons that I would awnser myself. And last it is very good just to read, for fun. I liked Alexa cause she wasn't afraid of anything. I would recommend this book to any kids who like adventure and mysteries. Over all this book was really good.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Naomi Campbell

    I haven't read a mystery in a long time, and this was a great re-start. I'm on an Andrew Clements reading roll right now and have read several of his books in a row, and I've not been disappointed at all, by any of them. I am not a fabulous sleuth myself, but I take great joy in eating up what they feed me and then "ding," or, "click," those happy moments when an "I get it," or an "aha" happens in my brain. This story is just nice! The characters are nice, and it's a lovely set of dilemmas to wo I haven't read a mystery in a long time, and this was a great re-start. I'm on an Andrew Clements reading roll right now and have read several of his books in a row, and I've not been disappointed at all, by any of them. I am not a fabulous sleuth myself, but I take great joy in eating up what they feed me and then "ding," or, "click," those happy moments when an "I get it," or an "aha" happens in my brain. This story is just nice! The characters are nice, and it's a lovely set of dilemmas to work your way through.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chichi

    I saw this in my high school library and was hit with one of those nostalgic feelings. I read a lot of Andrew Clements books in elementary school (he was basically half the Scholastic catalog), but somehow always missed this one. It was fun and calming and enjoyable. As always, Clements writes smart characters who are responsible and kind, and who are self-aware enough to know what they can and cannot tackle alone as children. My favourites are still Lunch Money and The Report Card, but Room One I saw this in my high school library and was hit with one of those nostalgic feelings. I read a lot of Andrew Clements books in elementary school (he was basically half the Scholastic catalog), but somehow always missed this one. It was fun and calming and enjoyable. As always, Clements writes smart characters who are responsible and kind, and who are self-aware enough to know what they can and cannot tackle alone as children. My favourites are still Lunch Money and The Report Card, but Room One is a pretty good continuance of Clements usual storytelling.

  22. 4 out of 5

    AndrewH

    This was a great book. Being a 12 year old, I could really relate to the main character Ted. Most mysteries I've read have never been relatable to me. Even though this was more of a small scaled mystery, it still was a great one and when I started a good reading session, I could not put this book down. I highly recommend this book to anyone, there will be something you love about this book no matter what.

  23. 5 out of 5

    LuAnn

    Another great book from Andrew Clements: simple enough for older elementary and young middle schoolers, but with sophisticated themes that appeal to teens and even adults, like Frindle and No Talking. While some readers say it’s not really a mystery, protagonist Ted does apply his detective skills to solve a few minor mysteries while also using logic and compassion to solve real life problems he encounters.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Celeste Marvin

    I loved this book! I ordered a class set and we read it together in my 4th grade classroom as an exemplar in our mystery genre unit. Another poster said she thought her kids could be bored by it as a read aloud— mine certainly were not! They begged to keep reading it. There was a lot to analyze for literary quality as well. Several themes run throughout the book and my students and I really enjoyed it! I sort of wish the ending was happier but it was more realistic this way.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Galion Public Library Teens

    Review by A.H. : "Andrew Clements constructed another great book for kids in this heartwarming story about a boy just trying to do the right thing. By introducing important themes like kindness, curiosity, and trust through a child's perspective, Clements makes them all the more important and easy to understand. Truly, Clements book highlights the good in every human, the hunger and thirst for someone to help."

  26. 4 out of 5

    Isaac

    This book is really good it is a mystery book and it’s really detailed. The book has so much detail it makes you feel that you are inside the book, its not only one mystery but two one is about a big room at his schoo land barley anyone knows the history of it. The second mystery you’ll have to find out and its even more scary and it sure will give you the chills. If you really like mystery books 100% this will be your book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brady

    This book was quite bad and uneventful. It was very slow and kinda boring. I would not recommend this to anyone and here’s why. One, it is boring and doesn’t have much action what so ever and the plot isn’t that deep. Two, it was uneventful and I couldent wait to be done with it. Three, it is short and I would rather read a longer book. Please take my advice and don’t read it but this is just my opinion.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Crisfield

    This was a page-turner as a family read. Clements spends a lot of words on describing the place... the feel of a downtrodden town. So this was like two stories in one for us. The kids' interaction with the mysterious family kept my son begging for one more chapter, and the place setting gave him a whole window into the real impact of economics and an important part of the history of communities in our country.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Arca

    2.5 I liked the ethical aspect of the book and that Clements brought in a conversation about homelessness. Not as much action or humor as I expected. I was looking for a good read aloud for 3rd graders and thought this mystery would do it.. a little too slow for a book to keep them hooked. I also thought the mystery itself unraveled in a meh kind of way towards the end..

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen

    Andrew Clements writes such great books for elementary age kids but that can also be enjoyed by younger and older ones as well! All 5 kids and I had a great time with this book and love the kindness throughout. It made us all want to be aware of those around us. And the little elements of mystery are fun, too.

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