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Literature / West Meadows Detectives

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West Meadows Detectives is a series of children's mystery novels written by Liam O'Donnell and illustrated by Aurélie Grand.

Myron Matthews, autistic third-grader and Kid Detective, has just started attending a new school in his hometown of Whispering Meadows. In Room 15, the special needs classroom, he befriends Hajrah, a hyperactive girl who becomes his crime-solving partner.

The books in the series:

  1. The Case of the Snack Snatcher (2015)
  2. The Case of Maker Mischief (2016)
  3. The Case of the Berry Burglars (2018)

West Meadows Detectives contains examples of:

  • "Be Quiet!" Nudge: In The Case of Maker Mischief, Myron and Hajrah go to the library to talk to Lionel Aram, a suspect in the theft of another boy's robot, only to learn that he went home early. Hajrah lies, "Lionel left some work at his table and we wanted to let him know we found it. Can we call him at home?" Myron, who is bad with lies, opens his mouth to correct her, but she steps on his foot to stop him from talking.
  • Genki Girl: Hajrah runs and talks almost constantly. As she explains it, she's in Room 15 because she bounces too much. She sits on an exercise ball and squeezes toys to get her energy out.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: One of the other kids in Room 15 is a girl named Danielle who only goes by Glitch because she's so good with computers.
  • Pet the Dog: Sarah "Smasher" McGintley is the meanest kid in school. In the first book, she and her cronies, Cameron and Carter, try to intimidate Myron and Hajrah out of investigating the snack thefts. It turns out that the culprit is a mother raccoon and her babies, who started living in a hole in the school's roof after a storm destroyed their tree. Smasher wants to protect the raccoons from getting caught, and checks on them every morning to make sure they're okay.
  • Playing Sick: In The Case of Maker Mischief, Myron and Hajrah can't find Lionel at school because he went home sick. But Glitch tells them she saw him earlier and he was fine. It turns out that Lionel stole the plans for the robot because he was angry with Glitch for not helping him build his own robot. He was going to return the plans, but when the robot itself went missing, he knew he couldn't admit to taking the plans without being a suspect, so he panicked and pretended to be sick so he could go home early.
  • Sensory Overload: Myron hates all the noise of the cafeteria, until Hajrah shows him the quietest part of the room. Later in the day, he's constantly distracted by the vanilla perfume of Mrs. Chu, his teacher in the mainstream classroom.
  • This Is Reality: In The Case of Maker Mischief, Hajrah calls their classmate Jordan "Mr. Lin." Myron says, "You don't have to call him Mr. Lin." Hajrah explains, "It's how detectives ask questions on TV." Myron says, "We're not on TV. We're in a shed."
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Hajrah loves licorice. Her parents don't like her eating candy before lunch, but she's determined, so before classes start she sometimes sneaks off from daycare and hides in a closet to eat licorice. In the first book, she's hiding in a kitchen closet when someone ransacks the kitchen and steals all the morning's snacks.