What are the books about?
It’s a series and it’s about a kid who’s about, like, 11, 12, or 13 and he has this best friend. He makes his own detective agency where he has 25 friends or so. It reflects life in a normal way, but in a mysterious, interesting way.
Each book is about one big mystery. The Case of The Case of the Mistaken Identity was about someone who was trying to be someone else, but the person that was trying to be the other person was committing crimes and was blaming it on the other person and was trying to make it look like the other person did it…but eventually they caught him.
Why is this one of your favorite series?
Basically, the mysteries he does are believable. It’s really interesting because mysteries always give you thoughts in your head about who did it and how it happened and how it could have happened and why and all these things. He makes notes on what he thinks on the way and I really like to compare [the notes] to what I think. Well, it’s one of my favorite books because it’s interesting because I get to think about a lot of things and at the same time be entertained by the mystery and how it unravels.
Usually in mysteries [in kids’ books] the mystery is not big, but here a car gets stolen! I think, also, it explains it a lot better [than most kids’ mysteries]… it’s a lot more than “there’s a 10 ten year old at a school who stole a book.” The only place it’s [the usual kids’ mystery] based on is either the school or a playground. Between those two settings it kind of gets a little boring. But in the Brixton Brothers series they go all over and the clues make you think about something. And [then] they find a clue about it and they match it up and you were probably wrong and it’s really interesting to know what the real answer is and it’s really different and it all makes sense.
Do a lot of your friends like this book?
Actually I found this book in a library and I haven’t really shared it. I don’t know if any of my friends read it. I never mentioned.
That is really interesting how you found the book! How do you come upon the books you read?
After I’m done with the current book I am reading, a mystery or action, a realistic mystery or realistic action for older age groups, I scan the shelves in the category I like. I read the back cover and if that seems interesting to me, than I probably get it.
Is that a good way to discover good books? Do you often find good books that way?
Yes, it’s a good way. If I can’t find them there, my mom knows the books I like. She tries to find some for me.
How many books are in this series?
I think 3, but maybe 4. Well, I usually like books with a series because…if I read the book and I like it, then I want the next book in the series. But if I read a book and I didn’t like it as much then I don’t really want the series.
Why is the title The Case of the Case of the Mistaken Identity? Is that a mistake?
Well, if you look at it in a different way, then it’s kind of like, the first “case” is representing the book itself and the second case is the actual case in the book.
Oh, I see! What kinds of books do you like?
I usually like realistic action or realistic mystery, and realistic adventure.
Because I don’t like when books kinda …let’s say someone throws a ball at you. Somehow the wind turns it away before it hits the water! I don’t like unrealistic things. I don’t believe that and I really don’t want that.
(I love this answer, so I ask the next question.) Can you compare it to other mystery books for kids? Like the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew and the ABC Mysteries? Is it better? Is this your favorite mystery book? Why is it better than the others? Why does this book appeal to boys?
I think those books are fine, but just not for me. I don’t think they’re bad books. But in Nancy Drew, for example, the mysteries are not really crimes. The bad guy didn’t really commit any crime. In the Brixton Brothers books, the realistic part is [that] those mysteries are really crimes.
What is your favorite thing about the books?
My favorite thing about the series is probably that the cases they’re solving actually have a variety. There is a stolen identity and a diamond theft. It’s still under a mystery crime thing, but it’s a variety of types.
Do you think the book would appeal to girls?
Both boys and girls. I think it’d be a bit more appealing to boys, but I can imagine some girls would like this book.
Do you think girls and boy like the same kinds of books?
Well, what I think about that is, kinda more adventure, action books would appeal to boys, but thought provoking and more interesting books would appeal to girls. Lots of girls can like action adventure ones and most of them do and boys can like thought provoking and interesting and often they do. Mostly, if you do a percentage, it [mystery, action, and adventure] would be my first choice, but lots of boys and most of girls do like the same kinds of books.
Tell us about Steve Brixton. What kind of guy is he?
Well, he likes to solve mysteries. If he didn’t have his partner, he would still do a good job but he wouldn’t try as hard. Also, he really likes to make it look like he has brothers…he doesn’t really have any siblings…that’s why it’s called Brixton Brother. He really is close to his best friend, and they do a lot of things together, especially the detective cases. He really is the better one [detective], but the friend is kind of like a helping hand, kind of there with him.
Because he really likes his friend and his friend also likes mystery but he’s not as into into it as the main character. Without his friend, Steve could still do it definitely [solve the case], but he would be sad or dazed in his thoughts and stuff.
Do you think friends are important?
Sticking together, as in being good friends to each other. If you say you’ll do something with them, say if you say you’ll do something on Thursday but if you really want to do something else on that day you would still keep that promise.
Because one of them really wants to do the stuff and the other one agrees with it [or the other way around]. Sticking together in a friendship way means [you don’t lose a friend over anything], not over one little argument or one disagreeable little thing. If you disagree, that doesn’t mean that you’re not friends. It just means you don’t agree over that thing.
It’s described as a perfect combination of action, adventure, and humor. It’s also described as dangerous, mysterious, and full of laughter and fun. Do you agree? Can you give us a sense of how it is funny or adventurous?
Well, it is dangerous mystery and all. Sometimes it can be a little funny. I’d put in adventure, action, mystery, and like a little laughter now and then. Yeah, I think it releases the tension the reader has at the moment.
There are librarians in this book, I understand. What are the librarians up to? Do you think a librarian would like the way librarians are portrayed in this book?
Oh, no, I think they’ll be fine with it, but the librarians in this book are kinda specific…it’s just one group…they’re not really librarians but they’re something else.
If you were to try to convince me to read this book, what would you say about it?
I’d say that…to read this book, “if you read this book it’d really…if you read the first few chapters It’d really …because of the storyline and the introduction and the introduction kind of gives the first thing to the case they’re going to solve. After that you really get into the case. Your mind thinks of what you think is going to happen…and it’s really interesting to compare to what happens next. And it’s also believable.
In the book, Steve is smarter than all the adults. Do you think this is true in real life?
Well, I don’t really think …it kind of depends. Some kids are smart and some adults aren’t as smart. So it could be. But it’s usually not the case. You know the adults have gone through a lot more schooling and stuff.
What other book would you recommend?
I’d also recommend Cosmic. Well, because it is about this tall kid and everyone thinks he’s an adult, like twenty-one or something. At first he really doesn’t like it… and then he gets chosen to go to this kind of adventures park and only a few people in the world get chosen for the ride there and you actually go into space and then you come back down. And he poses as a parent for a girl and he eventually goes into space and in the end they find out. And the hostess says if the mission fails and you crash there, she won’t go and get them. She’s going to leave them out there.