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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Get to know the only kid on the FBI Director’s speed dial and several international criminals’ most wanted lists all because of his Theory of All Small Things in this hilarious start to a brand-new middle grade mystery series. So you’re only halfway through your homework and the Director of the FBI keeps texting you for help…What do you do? Save your grade? Or save the country? If you’re Florian Bates, you figure out a way to do both. Florian is twelve years old and has just moved to Washington. He’s learning his way around using TOAST, which stands for the Theory of All Small Things. It’s a technique he invented to solve life’s little mysteries such as: where to sit on the on the first day of school, or which Chinese restaurant has the best eggrolls. But when he teaches it to his new friend Margaret, they uncover a mystery that isn’t little. In fact, it’s HUGE, and it involves the National Gallery, the FBI, and a notorious crime syndicate known as EEL. Can Florian decip…


by James Ponti

Overall Book Review:

Florian Bates may seem like a normal 12-year-old, but with his uncanny ability to see the little details and see the connections, he catches the attention of the FBI. That’s when Florian’s life gets a little more interesting and he gets to use his Sherlock Holmes-like abilities for more than just fitting in at his new school in this first novel of a series, FRAMED!, by James Ponti. He even has his own theory TOAST (Theory Of All Small Things) he gets to test out, which makes him seem like an even more sleuthing genius. And luckily, this also leads him to his first friend in Washington DC, which is always a nice bonus when you are the new kid in town.

As Florian gets to know his surroundings, he teaches his new friend, Margaret how to use his theory. It’s fun to see how by teaching her, Florian becomes even better at what he does and Margaret proves to be an invaluable side-kick. But then the FBI enters the picture and Florian gets to help solve the case of a lifetime. Tie in a worried mom and dad (homework before FBI work is a set rule), Eastern European mafia, and a kidnapping attempt, and this novel will keep you turning pages.

FRAMED! is a fun, fast-paced, mystery that really does keep the reader guessing. Perfect for those precocious, mystery-loving young readers, this novel will be eagerly read, and it seems to be set up for the next in the series so there is more to come.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  1 religious exclamation. 

Violence/Gore:  Character tackled to the ground, knocked out and kidnapped; character twists someone’s fingers in a painful way to get their point across; character says they are willing to ‘use their boots’ to teach someone a lesson. 

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:

Theft, organized crime.

Alcohol / Drug Use:


Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I remember as a young girl sneaking out of my bedroom to read by the hall light my parents left on, just so I could finish an exciting book. I’ve always loved books and reading is somewhat of a passion for me–something I’m passing on to my kids. I have four children and I have a hard time making them turn out the light when they say, “But I just got to the good part”.