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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
The Medal Muddle is the second instalment of the Gummshoes children’s book series, written by E.J. Gore. When Devlin Cave – a fourth grader – is bullied at Carson Road School, the Gummshoes take action, rescuing him from the sixth grade Boneheads who thrive on hurting others. Medallions encapsulate this new mystery, not only in the form of MODO medallions, but also Mr. Morris’ stunning war medals, proudly displayed on the wall of his office as School Principal. Jon ‘Nits’ Nittleson and Max Seeto – two Alpha school bullies – come to blows, causing a rift amongst the Boneheads, which ironically leads to Nits befriending the Gummshoes Gang. In between beatings, the Gummshoes investigate medallion thefts, betrayals in friendship and more to get to the bottom of the many oddities within their midst.
I found this second tale in the Gummshoes series to be very fast-paced and quite accurate of the odd crazes of today’s youth. Sadly, bullying is nothing new in schools and the fact that the school principal seemed aware of who the perpetrators are, but turned a blind eye, is heartbreaking. E.J. Gore’s well-written and entwined mysteries truly get the reader thinking about what is really going on in the background, whether or not Nits is genuine or playing a part in order to inflict more damage on the Gummshoes. Quite a lot of violence takes place in this second instalment, all over a game which is akin to the collection of Pokémon figures or baseball cards – but the true mystery lies in who is stealing the school principal’s war medals – something which gave me both a chill and made my blood boil at the same time. So many scenarios played in my brain which, oddly enough, made reading this tale all the more exciting. I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Medal Muddle and look forward to reading future books in the Gummshoes series. I recommend The Medal Muddle to readers aged 7-12 years who thrive on adventure and mystery while learning how to avoid the bullies lurking in their school.