Cover image for The case of the barfy birthday : and other super-scientific cases
The case of the barfy birthday : and other super-scientific cases
Torrey, Michele.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Dutton Children's Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
88 pages: illustrations ; 22 cm.
Fifth graders Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey use their detective and scientific investigation skills to solve cases which involve food poisoning, missing terns, a haunted treehouse, and a pig in a pit.
Reading Level:
540 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.0 1.0 69290.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 3.8 4 Quiz: 33983 Guided reading level: O.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Mystery/Suspense
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



In this fourth clever chapter book starring Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey, real science is seamlessly woven into four exciting cases, including a mysterious food-poisoning epidemic and a spooky tree-house ghost. The snappy dialogue and wacky scenarios are perfect for middle-graders, who will enjoy discovering the appendix of science activities, which focus on such concepts as epidemiology, code breaking, phases of matter, and simple machines. Each corresponds to a case in the book and will have readers scrambling for their own lab notebooks and detective gear! Illustrated by Barbara Johansen Newman.

Author Notes

A typical day for author Michele Torrey includes conducting experiments in her homemade laboratory, writing in her lab notebook (with her cat on her lap), followed by afternoon tea and crumpets. (She often invites Doyle and Fossey over for tea when they're available. The three of them chat about science and the weather and such while being quite witty.) Michele Torrey holds a degree in microbiology and immunology, and she has written six other books for young readers. She lives in Auburn, Washington
Barbara Johansen Newman was a puppeteer and an award-winning fiber artist for ten years before returning to her first love, drawing. Her work has been published in books, magazines, calendars, and posters. Ms. Johansen Newman lives in Boston, Massachusetts, with her husband and three sons. She would very much like Doyle and Fossey to come to her house and solve any one of life's daily mysteries, such as: Why are there never any cookies left in the cookie jar?

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5-In this entertaining series entry, fifth-graders Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey solve four new cases using scientific methods. In the title story, the friends use deductive reasoning and their knowledge of bacteria to figure out why several people who attended a birthday party have become ill. Next, they come across some misplaced tern hatchlings and determine that habitat destruction has caused the rare birds to select a poor nesting area. When a snobbish classmate complains that she is being haunted, they discover that the ghost is really a slighted friend who is seeking revenge. Finally, Drake and Nell construct a pulley out of junk in order to rescue a pig that has fallen into a well. The Encyclopedia Brown-type characters and short and simple episodes will quickly grab readers, even reluctant ones. Humorous black-and-white illustrations depict the chaotic events. Several science experiments are included. Teachers may enjoy using this book to illustrate a science lesson, and Spy Kids-era readers will appreciate the idea that mysteries can be solved by science.-Debbie Whitbeck, West Ottawa Public Schools, Holland, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

1 Situation Criticalp. 3
2 Barfy Businessp. 10
3 In the Bagp. 16
4 A Terrible Tragedyp. 25
5 Barko's SuperMartp. 32
6 Snob Clubp. 40
7 Ghost Bustingp. 49
8 The Pitsp. 58
9 A Foolproof Planp. 65
Activities and Experiments for Super-Scientistsp. 75