In a word, Tim Tingle’s recent book, Doc and the Detective in Graveyard Treasure is a FUN book! It features Timmy, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma who is a twelve-year-old detective. Made for action, Timmy finds waiting the most difficult part of detective work. Tingle’s fast-paced writing style propels the reader into the midst of Detective Timmy’s life as he learns that sometimes bad ideas lead to good information and as he struggles to find proof for his hunches and suppositions.
When a group of thieves start to prey on the elderly and Timmy’s friend, Dr. Moore gets targeted, Timmy can’t sit on the sidelines. With his advancing age, Dr. Moore has begun to experience signs of dementia, making him and others like him easy targets. To defend his friend, Timmy springs into action. In the process, he gains the respect of Officer Holden, whose own father had Alzheimer’s. The two bond over this shared experience and their shared passion for detective work. Without the clues that Timmy provides the local police department would have no idea who is robbing the elderly. Just as Doc sometimes seems old and sometimes he is the smartest man around, Timmy is a shrewd detective as well as a twelve-year-old kid who stumbles into trouble.
In the process of protecting the people that he cares about, Timmy confronts whispered moments of dark fear that send his heart racing. He also acts on hunches that jeopardize his safety. Focused on the job and not his fear, Timmy makes sacrifices so that the older people in the community will be safe from thieves.
Although Tingle’s book features plenty of action to attract young adventurers: kidnappings, stolen jewels, standoffs, Taser guns, graveyards, and alleyway escapes; it also exposes the important link that the young have with the old. Timmy “understands that old people still have a life, still have much to give, if we learn to listen” (237). With this dual plot-line, Tingle’s book is about more than young heroism; it’s about treasured relationships and respect for the elderly.
- Posted by Donna