Sketchy Behavior / Erynn Mangum
HS (Adult) Grade 9-Adult Rating: 4 (out of 5)
Erynn Mangum, author of the popular Miss Match and Cool Beans series, presents a young adult book about a high school student who becomes the target of a murderer after she sketches a realistic portrait for the police.
In Sketchy Behavior, Kate, known for her sarcasm and wit, is an avid artist. When a police detective visits Kate’s high school art class for an “art in the real world” assignment, Kate draws an image based on the description of a stranger. Kate doesn’t know she is sketching John X, a dangerous serial killer. The police use her almost-perfect portrait to make an arrest.
Unfortunately, the local news puts her in danger by identifying her when they broadcast her sketch. Hailed as a local hero, Kate angers John X who seeks revenge through his friends. Her family seeks comfort at a local church, Kate finds herself starting her own spiritual journey.
She makes light of the extra attention and her police guard. When Kate rides in a parade in her honor, someone shoots at her. A witness comes forward and Kate draws a sketch based on the witness’ description. This sketch brings her deeper into the case of John X and deeper into danger.
Readers will enjoy reading how one teen goes from obscurity to a small-town celebrity overnight. Kate has a good relationship with her psychologist mom and engineer dad, despite their quirks. They add a lot of humor to the story, as do some other characters. It is a fun read with several plot twists in the latter part of the book. While aimed at teens, this light-hearted mystery is also an enjoyable read for adults.
Recommended for high school and public libraries.
— reprinted with permission, Christian Library Journal, February/April 2012.