When Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me won the Newbery Medal in 2010, many critics and readers traced its lineage back not only to the 1963 winner A Wrinkle in Time but also to The Westing Game, a puzzle wrapped in a mystery wrapped in a coming-of-age novel, which won in 1979. Now Dutton has brought back into print Raskin’s three remaining novels: Figgs & Phantoms (1974, and a Newbery Honor Book), The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel) (1971), and The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues (1975).
All of them welcome the reader in as a participant in solving the mystery or completing the quest; all of them speak to both head and heart (especially Figgs & Phantoms, one of the most poignant explorations of grief I’ve ever read). They are smart books, but they don’t exclude anybody; they’re for all kids.
-- Martha V. Parravano