Good News and Bad News

Hey, it’s Yitzy. From the Five Star Detectives.

You’ve probably heard those good news-bad news jokes. Well, I DON’T have one for you. And, if you’ve read the books about me and my brothers and sisters, you know it’s not like me to NOT have a joke. But this is serious stuff I’m talking about here.

The good news is that Chanukah is right around the corner, starting in 3 days! The bad news is that you only have 3 days to buy presents for your family before the holiday starts. But there’s MORE GOOD NEWS. Chanukah lasts 8 days.

So you’ve got 8 MORE DAYS to buy presents!

One of the best things to give somebody is a book. And if they’re a slow reader, like my brother Nosson, it’ll take them 8 more days to finish it! And then they can read it to their kid sisters, like Nosson could do with Miri, who’s only 4.

My brothers and sisters all like books. Shimmy – he’s 10 – likes mysteries that give him ideas about how we can solve our next mystery. Adina, who’s 9, likes mysteries, too. And she likes books about girls who are friends with each other. Yuck! Miri likes books with lots of pictures. Even Ima and Abba like books. Stuff they can read on Shabbas. (That’s kind of the only time we give them a break and let them read.)

Be sure and check out the Chanukah books here for some good ideas.

Happy Chanukah to everyone!

Win a FREE book – or 3!

Okay, so this is really exciting. I mean, not just a little exciting, but REALLY exciting.

By the way, I’m Adina. I’m 10, and I’m one of the Five Star Detectives. We solve mysteries, like we did in The Case of the Disappearing Chanukah Candles and The Case of the Unfair Science Fair. I wouldn’t have forgotten to introduce myself, except for I’m REALLY excited, like I said.

My brother Nosson wrote here last time about how he’s hoping Ima and Abba will buy him books for Chanukah. But I just found out about a way you can WIN a free Chanukah book. Or win 3 Chanukah books! (Actually, your parents have to do it for you, because it has to be a grown up entering the contest. But they won’t mind. It’s just a couple clicks on the computer.

Five people who’ve written books about Chanukah got together and they’re having this raffle. The big winner will get to pick 3 of their books. And a second winner gets to pick 1 book. My brothers and sister and I are happy that our Chanukah story is one of the books the winners can pick!

So be sure and have your parents or another adult enter. They can get a kids book for you or a book for themselves — and it will be like a present from you, because you’re the one who told them about the contest! Just tell them to go here.

The Best Gift for Chanukah

Hi. Nosson here. I’m seven, and I help my brothers and sisters solve mysteries. You know me from the Five Star Detectives books. I’m the one who’s always eating snacks. And taking notes. Sometimes I spell things wrong in my notes… A big thank-you to my sister Adina, who read this first and fixed my spelling and other stuff.

You might think the thing I’d want most for Chanukah is a bunch of snacks. And I wouldn’t say no if that’s what someone gave to me. But what I really want is books. I’m not great yet at reading, but I try. And I like when Adina or my parents read to me.

There are lots of great books out there, not just kid books, but even books for grown-ups like Ima and Abba.

If you’re looking to buy a present for someone in your family (or maybe me), check out some of these: https://www.torahthroughliterature.com/chanuka-books-2020/

You’ll Fall for these Jokes!

Hey, Yitzy here… from the Five Star Detectives. I solve mysteries along with the rest of the kids in my family. I’m eight, and I like to tell jokes. Detective work can get a little too serious sometimes, and a good joke lightens things up, so you can get back to work.

We’re now into fall, and it’s getting colder (b-r-r-r-r). Here are some of my favorite autumn jokes…

What is the cutest of all the seasons?
Awwwtumn!

What did the tree say to autumn?
Please leaf me alone!

What happens when winter arrives?
Autumn leaves!

How do you fix a broken pumpkin?
With a pumpkin patch!

How do trees get on the computer?
They log in!

Why do all the birds fly south in the fall?
Because it’s too far to walk.

Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Wool
Wool who?
Wool you grab me a sweater? It’s getting cold outside!

Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Orange
Orange who?
Orange you glad it’s autumn?

Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Acorn who
Acorn-y person telling you jokes!

Want to be a Detective?

Shimmy Stern here… from the Five Star Detectives.

If you’ve read the books about my family, you know that I love solving mysteries. I work with my brothers and sisters, and I’m in charge (I’m the oldest, age 11). But each of them helps out in different ways.
Have you ever wanted to be a detective? I love Science. It’s my favorite subject in school, besides Gemara. We use a lot of Science in our detective work. But there are a lot of other things to keep in mind If you’re interested in doing detective work. Here are some tips:
Learn to spot clues. Anything can be a clue — and clues can be anywhere. When our neighbor Mrs. Rabinovitz called us about her Chanukah candles disappearing from her menorahs (she had eight menorahs!), we found a hair on the table where the menorahs sat. (We took it home and looked at it under our microscope, to see what we could learn.) But we also found a clue on a little tablet she kept in a drawer. (Of course, we asked her before we looked in the drawer. You don’t go snooping around someone’s house without asking permission.)
Most clues will be right out in the open. If you see something and you can’t figure out what it is, or if you see something that looks out of place, it could be a clue.
Read lots of mystery books. I learned a lot by reading about how other people solved mysteries. Reading will help you understand the steps to take in your detective work and give you some ideas about different ways of looking at things.
Get Help. When I started solving mysteries, I wanted to work alone. But Ima insisted I had to include my brothers and sisters. And, you know what? They really help out! Yeah, Yitzy, my eight-year-old brother, gets a little carried away telling jokes. But sometimes it helps loosen up a suspect, so the person tells us what we need to know. Miri is only four, and I thought she’d be no help. But she’s so little, she sees clues down low that the rest of us don’t! We couldn’t have solved the Case of the Unfair Science Fair without her.
Don’t take on mysteries too big for you. Most important in detective work is staying safe. Don’t get involved with strangers. Stay in your own community. If you see or suspect a real crime, stay away! Tell your parents. They’ll know what to do.
Be Kind and Respectful. Doing detective work means you’ll have to ask questions. Don’t accuse anyone. Just ask your questions and let the truth come out. Sure, you want to solve your mystery. But afterwards, you want to still have your friends and know your neighbors still like you.

We’re the Five Star Detectives!

Hi, everyone. We’re the Five Star Detectives, and we work together to solve mysteries.

Our first big mystery was The Case of the Disappearing Chanukah Candles, and there’s a book about how we solved that one. We’ve solved some little cases since then, mostly around our house. But now there’s a new book about our second big case, called The Case of the Unfair Science Fair, and it tells about a big mystery at my school.

My name’s Shimmy, and I’m pretty much in charge of the Five Star Detectives. (I’m the oldest, age 11). But my brothers and sister all help out in different ways.

Adina is 10, and she’s real into art. She’s got a real good eye for that, so sometimes she sees clues the rest of us miss.

Yitzy is 8. He likes to tell jokes. Sometimes that can be pretty annoying, especially when you’re trying to concentrate on the clues. But other times it makes us laugh. And sometimes we really need to laugh. Things can get pretty tense when the clues aren’t adding up. Or pretty sticky if you have to interrogate a suspect, especially if the suspect is your friend — and you want to keep it that way.

Nosson is 7. He’s our note taker. He’s just learning to write, and he’s not very neat. Besides that, he doesn’t spell so good. Sometimes it’s not easy to figure out his notes, but in the end those notes usually help out a lot.

Miri is only 4, and she’s pretty cute. I used to think What can a really little kid do to help solve mysteries? But, after our two big cases, I learned the answer is: A lot!

All the Five Star Detectives are going to take turns writing here. Adina will probably have to fix Nosson’s spelling. And I can’t think of how Miri is going to write anything. But she always wants to do what the rest of us are doing, so she says she’ll write. And, who knows? Like I said before, sometimes the littlest Five Star Detective can surprise everyone!