Regarding the Fountain
By Kate Klise, illustrated by M. Sarah Klise
Published 1999 by HarperTrophy
These books were insanely popular at the school library I volunteered for during grad school. I picked one up recently and, being enamored with epistolary novels, I knew I would be reading it soon. Dry Creek Middle School needs a new water fountain. Florence Waters has been contacted regarding the fountain. What follows is a madcap mystery about the history of Dry Creek, a spirited fountain designer, and a fifth-grad class full of enthusiastic amateur sleuths and musicians. This is an easy and fast read, entertaining and unusual. I really liked having the story told this way - it made it much more interesting than a straightforward narrative would have been, I think. It's really funny, too - the characterizations are incredibly strong, especially considering they are mostly told through letters. This was a really enjoyable read and I will definitely read the others in the series. I've already picked up the Klise sister's new series and can't wait to read it.