Mystery Books Series

The Mystery of the Round Rocks

Authors:  Dave Volk & Mark Meierhenry
Illustrator:  Jason Folkerts

RoundRocks 180Bronze Medal, Midwest Best Regional Fiction—IPPY Awards, Independent Publisher, 2008

While visiting their grandparents’ farm in South Dakota, Max and Hannah discover hundreds of rocks piled up in the corner of a field. Puzzled, the twins ask Grandpa if he has the key to this mystery. How did all those round rocks get there?

In The Mystery of the Round Rocks, Grandpa describes the early, geologic history of South Dakota and the Great Plains. He takes the children on an amazing journey, riding along with the vast glaciers that carved out present-day flat farmland and the Missouri River, leaving behind thousands of telltale round rocks. Watch out for saber-tooth tigers and short-face bears, wooly mammoths, giant deer, and bison before Max and Hannah find the rocks and unlock their secret.

The Mystery of the Round Rocks is suitable for children with a second- to fourth-grade reading level or for reading to a younger audience.

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The Mystery of the Tree Rings

Authors:  Dave Volk & Mark Meierhenry
Illustrator:  Jason Folkerts

TreeRings 180Silver Medal, Midwest Best Regional Fiction—IPPY Awards, Independent Publisher, 2009

Max and Hannah’s discovery that their grandfather has kept a journal since he was young impresses them, but Grandpa has an even longer journal in mind when he whisks them off to the Black Hills for a mystery-solving trip. When they arrive, the children and Grandpa set off for a hike to find a ponderosa pine nearly eight hundred years old.

Along the way, Max gets lost and sits down to rest against a huge pine tree. A mysterious voice reaches out to him, and soon he is discovering the secrets wrapped up in Rosa the ponderosa’s rings. When Hannah and Grandpa eventually find Max again, he has all the answers to what is inside that ancient journal.

The Mystery of the Tree Rings is suitable for children at a second- to fourth-grade reading level or for reading aloud to a younger audience.

"Simple, colorful illustrations and a final blank, lined page for the child to write in to start their own journal round out this charming story about learning to appreciate and remember the wonders all around us."—The Midwest Book Review

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The Mystery of the Maize

Authors:  Dave Volk & Mark Meierhenry
Illustrator:  Marty Two Bulls, Sr.

Maize 180Max and Hannah love maize; they eat corn on the cob in the summer and like to make popcorn, too. But, they have a lot to learn about maize and all its mysteries. The twins’ grandfather has a great story to tell them and more interesting places to visit. On their adventures, Hannah discovers a link to Heron and Muskrat, a pair of twins from the ancient maize-growing people who lived in South Dakota. What does she find, and what do the modern-day twins learn about the brother and sister from thousands of years ago?

The Mystery of the Maize shows the development of maize as it links the past to the present. Max and Hannah find out that maize can be used in many ways, and they discover that things have changed a lot since people first planted the crop thousands of years ago.

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The Mystery of the Pheasants

Authors:  Dave Volk & Mark Meierhenry
Illustrator:  Susan Turnbull

Pheasants 180Max and Hannah are about to go on their first pheasant hunt. They have taken their safety course, and they can’t wait to get out into the field. But there is much they don’t know about the Chinese ring-necked pheasant, and the twins’ grandfather has plenty to teach them before they load their shotguns for the first time.

The Mystery of the Pheasants tells the history of the South Dakota state bird, from its arrival from China, through its successful adaptation to the plains, and onto the traditions of hunting that are so important to the state and the surrounding region.

The Mystery of the Pheasants is suitable for a first- to third-grade reading level or for reading aloud to a younger audience.

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