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The Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case (Precious Ramotswe Mysteries for Young Readers)

Last updated Sunday, January 7, 2018

Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Date of Publication: 2012
ISBN: 0307949443
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jan. 2018

Synopsis: This is a "A Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" book for young readers. Have you ever said to yourself, Wouldn’t it be nice to be a detective? This is the story of an African girl who says just that. Her name is Precious. When a piece of cake goes missing from her classroom, a traditionally built young boy is tagged as the culprit. Precious, however, is not convinced. She sets out to find the real thief. Along the way she learns that your first guess isn’t always right. She also learns how to be a detective.

Note to readers:
•  There is a Character Guide at the end of the book. Also Geography and People of Botswana.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do detectives do?
•  Would you want to be a detective?
•  Have you ever solved a mystery?
•  What is a "great cake mystery"?


•  Cattle - large mammals raised on farms or ranches for their milk or meat, like cows.
•  Mane - the long hair on the back and sides of the neck of horses, lions, and other animals.
•  Shuddered - to tremble or give a sudden shiver.
•  Indigestion - difficulty in digesting food.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Do you think it is okay to accuse someone of stealing without evidence?
•  What is your favorite cake flavor?
•  See more discussion questions at the end of the book.

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a cake and decorate it.
•  Make a "detective kit" (magnifying glass out of paper, notebook, hat, binoculars out of toilet paper roles, etc...)
•  Draw what you think the monkeys looked like when they stole the cake!
•  Check our January craft ideas on Pinterest!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!