#873 The Mystery on Blizzard Mountain created by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Mystery on Blizzard Mountain created by Gertrude Chandler WarnerThe Mystery on Blizzard Mountain created by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Aldens are visiting a campground up in the mountains. It’s cold, but the experience is still nice, but weird stuff starts to happen, as always. There’s been a few artifacts stolen from the local museum. Some people complain about there being so many trails on the mountain. They don’t want tons of people coming to see the mountain. Camping goods go missing. Who could be doing all of these awful things?

What I liked

I like the mountains and I do like reading about the mountains. I have never really lived in mountains where there is snow though. I’ve seen a blizzard once in my life. Nobody will forget 1993 in the South. There was a blizzard and then there were tornadoes.

What I didn’t like

I get that some people think that to preserve an environment people shouldn’t be going there and there are certainly some good arguments for that side of the story. On the other hand, if people don’t see whatever it is, they’re not going to care about preserving it and, therefore, will not participate in any activities, monetary or otherwise, that would lead to said environment being preserved. I mean, sure, we all want to save the rain forests, but unless you actually go to the rain forest and see how awesome it is, the full necessity of saving it isn’t going to affect you. If you can’t go visit some awesome mountain peak, how are you to know it’s worth saving?

Over the past few days, I’ve gone to see several Revolutionary War battle sites. Do you think I would have been inclined to put any money or volunteer activity towards these sites without seeing them? No, I really didn’t have any special affinity for Revolutionary War battle sites. Seeing it does make a difference. The gravity of the importance of the site is made clear when actually seeing something in the flesh.

The point in all of this is that, sure, you can try to hide something from the public that should be preserved, like the character in this book, or you can open it to the public so they can see what it is and why it needs to be preserved.


Dairy Queen should open a location on Blizzard Mountain so they can sell Blizzards to people going to look at Blizzard Mountain. They can even have a special Blizzard Mountain Blizzard flavor for people visiting Blizzard Mountain.

Weigh In

What do you think about preserving ecological and historical sites?

Do you feel you would put time and money towards preserving something without having seen it yourself?

#872 The Old Motel Mystery created by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Old Motel Mystery created by Gertrude Chandler WarnerThe Old Motel Mystery created by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Aldens are on vacation again, this time with Aunt Sara in Florida. There’s a friend who has an old motel and the Aldens are going to stay there a while. The friend is set on selling her motel when the Aldens get there, but they decidedly tell her that it isn’t going to happen. They start helping her fix up the place by getting new bedding and freezing tons of orange juice. The problem is that someone is thwarting their efforts. The power gets turned off. There is water leaking into one of the rooms. Someone dumped the oranges into the pool. Who could have done such a thing?

What I liked

I kind of like the idea of running a small hotel. It would be a job and a place to live, which is great because you never have to leave home to go to work and there’s more downtime than you would get at other jobs. Although, if you wanted to go on vacation to someone else’s hotel, you’d have to find someone to watch yours. Is there some sort of hotel swapping program for motel and hotel owners?

What I didn’t like

The person that ends up having done all of these things, doesn’t get any charges pressed against them. Some of this stuff is mostly harmless, but some of this stuff is damaging to property. It’s expensive to fix something on your house. At one point, the motel gets a new roof. With what money? Roofs are expensive. You can’t just go to someone’s house and be like, “You should put a new roof on it,” then go to the store and buy everything and get the new roof put up just like that. It’s tens of thousands of dollars for a new roof. Not everybody has that kind of money lying around like Grandfather. This makes me wonder if the Aldens ever understand the value of a dollar. Also, getting back to the perpetrator of these nefarious acts, you can’t just let someone cause you, at the least, a couple thousand dollars worth of damage, and not expect them to pay recompense in any way, either through financial repayment or legal action. I don’t think it’s the greatest example to children to let someone get away with something this big. There’s a possibility kids will be like, “Well, so and so in the book did it, and got away with it, maybe I can too.”


Who has so much freezer space that they can freeze orange juice, seemingly to last for months and months?

Weigh In

Would you ever own your own motel?

Do you feel like the Aldens get the idea of money and what a person can reasonably do with it?

#871 The Mystery of the Purple Pool created by Gertrude Chandler Warner

 The Mystery of the Purple Pool created by Gertrude Chandler Warner The Mystery of the Purple Pool created by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Because Grandfather is made of money, the Aldens go and stay in a fancy hotel for a while. It’s in New York City. Grandfather is going to work part of the time so the Aldens have the free range to do mostly whatever they want. They want to go swimming, but the pool is purple. Someone dyed all the water purple. Weird things keep happening in the hotel. Someone says their room wasn’t cleaned. There was a guy who got fired. All manner of things just keep happening. Who is doing it? Is is the guy who got fired? What about his sister? What about the other guy?

The Aldens don’t mind a little purple water and tourism, but they also don’t mind a bit of mystery solving.

What I liked

I kind of like the idea of purple water in a swimming pool. Wouldn’t it be whimsical?

What I didn’t like

Do you have any idea how much a fancy hotel suite is in New York City? A whole lot. I’ve stayed in $200 a night hotel rooms and they weren’t even that fancy, well one of them was  a Waldorf-Astoria hotel. It was fancy, but it wasn’t a suite. When you take your kids on vacation, you stay at a Holiday Inn and you save the nice hotels for when you’re alone with your sweetie. Pstch! Kids in a fancy hotel! The Aldens are so spoiled.

Heck, when I was little and we went on vacation, we stayed in places like The John Wayne Motel. There were bullet holes in the wall and they weren’t there for ambiance. We stayed in a Holiday Inn one time, we thought we were fancy. It was the first time my brother and I didn’t have to sleep in the same freaking bed. My family was super cheap.


I kind  of want to know how the grown-up Aldens turned out after this childhood of being super spoiled.

Weigh In

Would you swim in a purple pool?

How do you feel about taking kids to a fancy hotel?

#870 The Animal Shelter Mystery created by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Animal Shelter Mystery created by Gertrude Chandler WarnerThe Animal Shelter Mystery created by Gertrude Chandler Warner

A strange cat shows up at the Aldens’ house. They have no idea where it came from. Later, when they go to do their volunteer work at the local animal shelter, it’s chaos. There are animals everywhere. They get the bad news that the shelter is closing. Meanwhile, they volunteer their boxcar as a temporary shelter and try to figure out who the cat belongs to, but they end up with even more animals.

A local woman is gone and some strange people are in her house. Of course the Aldens have to figure out what’s going on. They find out that some of the animals belong at the woman’s house, but she’s not there. They also find an old deed, but what does it have to do with the animals shelter?

What I liked

I like animals. I’ve had my share of them over the years. Right now I have three pets, and assorted plants. I think animals do make life better, although, at times, they can certainly be trying, like when the dog gets up on the kitchen table. Really, he climbs on the table like a cat. You’d expect that kind of thing out of a cat, but a dog?

I do like that the Aldens are friendly to animals. Grandfather Alden may not believe in ghosts, but he does appreciate animals, so that’s a point for Grandfather. He never dissuades the Alden children from having various adventures with animals.

What I didn’t like

Why can’t the Aldens have a pet cat? Every time it looks like they’re about to get a cat, they don’t. Does Grandfather hate cats? What’s the deal? Grandather, you’ve got a house with extra bedrooms, you have room for a cat, or two, or twenty. The cats could solve mysteries like, “Is that a bug on the wall or just a piece of fuzz?”


Get the Aldens a cat! Get the Aldens a cat!

Weigh In

If a bunch of animals showed up at your house, what would you do?

Would you ever volunteer at an animal shelter?

#867 Mystery Behind the Wall by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Mystery Behind the Wall by Gertrude Chandler WarnerMystery Behind the Wall by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Aldens have a Canadian friend coming to stay awhile. There’s a room that hasn’t been used in a while that he can stay in. The kids help clean it up. When the kid gets there, they decide to make a communication device, a tin can telephone. They figure they can pass a string through the closet, but there’s something strange about the closet. It kind of sounds hollow behind it. They soon find a note and some clues.

It turns out grandfather bought the house from someone else and a little girl used to live in the room. She didn’t play with dolls, like a lot of other young girls; she liked to collect coins. She wanted to leave a scavenger hunt. The Aldens start following her clues. Their progress is hindered by the fact that Grandfather added rooms onto the house at one point, so some of the original parts of the house are covered up. The Aldens figure it out, like usual, but they have a great time.

What I liked

Sometimes I really like the idea of having a really old house. There’s no telling what mementos of the past you may find in crawl spaces and attics. The Aldens finding something from a girl who used to live in their house is actually pretty neat. All I found when I moved into my last house, that I used to have, were some x-rays. Part of me doesn’t like the idea of having an old house because it’s probably haunted. I’ve recently read a whole lot of true ghost stories in an online article, and let me tell you, I wouldn’t want a lot of those experiences happening to me. Some of them I would be fine with, but the rest of it–no way. So I imagine that if, for some reason ,I bought an old Victorian house  it would probably be haunted and not like fun haunted, like awful, nightmare-inducing haunted. I’d have to call a priest and a bishop, one of them could exorcise the ghost and the other could fight it, hopefully, I’d end up ghost free in the end.

What I didn’t like

The little girl’s story seems a little sad.

Oh, and there the Aldens go, being spoiled again. Oh, we just happen to have this extra bedroom lying around. There are five people in the house and they have an extra bedroom. Unheard of, seriously. There were six people in my house growing up and we only had four bedrooms and one bathroom. The Aldens probably have like six bathrooms.


Maybe there’s a cool scavenger hunt in your house, but as luck might have it, it’s probably just a scavenger hunt to the previous tenant’s toenail collection.

Weigh In

If you found a scavenger hunt in your house, would you do it?

Do you think the Aldens are spoiled?