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The Pizza Mystery

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Who is trying to force Piccolos' Pizzeria to close its doors, and why? Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny are helping out at a pizzeria that is run by their old friends, the Piccolos who have been having lots of troubles keeping their business going. Working at the little restaurant is lots of fun but the children wonder is someone deliberately trying to shut down the Piccol Who is trying to force Piccolos' Pizzeria to close its doors, and why? Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny are helping out at a pizzeria that is run by their old friends, the Piccolos who have been having lots of troubles keeping their business going. Working at the little restaurant is lots of fun but the children wonder is someone deliberately trying to shut down the Piccolos' Pizzeria?


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Who is trying to force Piccolos' Pizzeria to close its doors, and why? Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny are helping out at a pizzeria that is run by their old friends, the Piccolos who have been having lots of troubles keeping their business going. Working at the little restaurant is lots of fun but the children wonder is someone deliberately trying to shut down the Piccol Who is trying to force Piccolos' Pizzeria to close its doors, and why? Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny are helping out at a pizzeria that is run by their old friends, the Piccolos who have been having lots of troubles keeping their business going. Working at the little restaurant is lots of fun but the children wonder is someone deliberately trying to shut down the Piccolos' Pizzeria?

30 review for The Pizza Mystery

  1. 4 out of 5

    Karis

    These books were my childhood go to books as a kid, the ones that sparked my imagination and love for a good story, the ones that encouraged me to be creative and work hard. The Aldens were my dream second set of siblings—Henry, hardworking, dependable, and industrious; Jessie, organized, caring, practical; Violet, sweet, kind, and full of sympathy; and Benny, outgoing, honest, and funny. And now as a young adult, looking back I see why I was so enamored with them and especially with The Pizza M These books were my childhood go to books as a kid, the ones that sparked my imagination and love for a good story, the ones that encouraged me to be creative and work hard. The Aldens were my dream second set of siblings—Henry, hardworking, dependable, and industrious; Jessie, organized, caring, practical; Violet, sweet, kind, and full of sympathy; and Benny, outgoing, honest, and funny. And now as a young adult, looking back I see why I was so enamored with them and especially with The Pizza Mystery, easily in my top 5 favorite Boxcar Children books. I love family arcs in stories, and what better example is this family who together tackle mysteries and take on helping people as they do throughout the series. These books model what a family should be like encouraging and being there for each other, and what young people should be to a community, pitching in and making a difference, and to adults in showing them the proper respect. I get hungry every time I read this book and simply savor the feel and hominess. Yes, I can see reading this now at 18 that some of the events are a little improbable, but I’m so grateful for this book and the others in the series which so shaped my mind and heart for the better as kid and created in me a love for family-centered books and good themes and values in the literature I read. A great re-read and a reminder of why I loved this series so much as a kid. (As a side note about the series: The original author died in 1979, leaving the series at book #19. I love those early ones the most in a lot of ways as she originally let the characters grow older and secondary characters would play roles in multiple books. I do appreciate the early ghostwriters that took over and feel as if they did an excellent job at still staying true to the heart of the books—this book being a great example. But I would be wary of reading the newest ones [the ones in the high numbers like 60 and up] because I know they’ve been modernized and just aren’t the same. )

  2. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    This was okay. It's the one I like least, so far. The story involves pizza, a broken gas line, a new company, and a new employee. The story is almost all selling and making pizza. The mysteries are secondary, but I didn't like them, so I didn't mind.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    Read-aloud to first and second graders. Doesn't have the intrigue and pacing of the first book, but it will make you hungry for pizza! A solid series that's definitely enjoyable for the intended age group. These books are simple and formulaic, but the sibling dynamics, interesting settings, and independent problem solving make them highly satisfying for students who are just getting into chapter books. I read tons of these as a young reader, and the kids I teach still love them today.

  4. 4 out of 5

    quinnster

    These are some very industrious little kids! There was mystery aplenty and many suspects to choose from. The kids never gave up and had a solution for everything even when the adults were ready to give up! I can see why kids love these books! Fun, mysterious and how can you not love a book about pizza?!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Erin Lee

    The Piccolo family must be peopled with saints. I wouldn't be as tolerant and forgiving as they had been, not just with the saboteurs and the shenanigans, but with the people that were supposed to be loyal to them but were so wishy-washy. And I'm a little baffled as to why Grandfather Alden would let his grandchildren stay with the random elderly owners of a pizza shop they sometimes frequented. Ehh, little bit reaching. I wish the Alden children had flaws and weren't so accepting and perfect al The Piccolo family must be peopled with saints. I wouldn't be as tolerant and forgiving as they had been, not just with the saboteurs and the shenanigans, but with the people that were supposed to be loyal to them but were so wishy-washy. And I'm a little baffled as to why Grandfather Alden would let his grandchildren stay with the random elderly owners of a pizza shop they sometimes frequented. Ehh, little bit reaching. I wish the Alden children had flaws and weren't so accepting and perfect all the time. (And no, Benny thinking with his stomach first and foremost doesn't count.)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Linda Klinedinst

    I dearly love this Mystery. This is Book #33 I think it is in the Boxcar Children's Mystery Series. I dearly love this series. I give this book 5/5 Stars here on Goodreads. I highly recommend this series to anybody.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    My son loved this book. Unfortunately, I did not agree and was mentally celebrating as I finished reading it to him. :) I do appreciate how much he likes it, so I figure that averages out to 3 stars.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    I don't know why, but this was a book that we (my brother, more specifically) owned. And I say I don't know why, because it was the single only Boxcar Children book that we owned, and thus it was the single only Boxcar Children book that I've read. So, having read only the thirty-third book in the series, I do feel like I missed out on some things. First of all, I felt like there was no characterization. The Alden kids were all interchangeable, they had no defining personalities, and I wouldn't I don't know why, but this was a book that we (my brother, more specifically) owned. And I say I don't know why, because it was the single only Boxcar Children book that we owned, and thus it was the single only Boxcar Children book that I've read. So, having read only the thirty-third book in the series, I do feel like I missed out on some things. First of all, I felt like there was no characterization. The Alden kids were all interchangeable, they had no defining personalities, and I wouldn't even be able to tell you which of the girls was who. (The only reason I can remember the boys is because Benny was the baby and Henry was the oldest. But they still didn't have any personality.) Also, everyone talks about how they were good old friends with the pizza employees, but all I can assume is that they met these people in an earlier book? It was a very simple read, with not too much to the mystery. Probably good for kids just getting into reading chapter books, or a read-aloud for younger grades. I read it for nostalgia's sake and probably will never read it again, though I would read the first book. Also, reading this book really made me want pizza.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    Lizzie: I love this book. I like Benny the most in this one. It is very funny. It does take a while to figure out the mystery. This is most likely my favorite book so far. All of the characters have their own personalities. In most of the books one of the kids make up a plan to find the bad guy (or) girl, and this one is most likely my favorite plan.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    My kids enjoy listening to these books and it kept them entertained in the car while driving in Italy (and eating a lot of pizza). I have a hard time with this series. I love the original book, but with so many books in the series they are all pretty much the same with very simple plot. Fine for early readers.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Crissy

    Loved these as a kid and finding so many out there that were done after I moved on or that I just hadn't ran across in our little library. Now finding many of them as audiobooks to listen to while I workout or crochet. Still love them, especially the older ones.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    The most obnoxious thing about this book is the idea that 4 children have better ideas to fix a failing business than the owners of 30 years. Also all the times the children found someone suspicious and the owners “too trusting” and ended up being wrong but never admitting it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Stacie

    The Boxcar Children jump right in and help their favorite pizza place because you know... MYSTERY! They find the jerks and save the day.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    Have to make pizza with the kids when we read this one.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    The kids enjoyed this, although I found it a bit tedious. The dynamic between the kids is ideal and sweet and the book is so totally clean! The mystery did surprise us a little bit.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    So very dated. Perhaps the pizza parlor recovers once the children show up because they are used as free labor, only paid in pizza? Also love that the grandfather drops them off at the pizza apartment and continues on his vacation by himself. Several plot twists will keep interested readers guessing, but I found them kind of random and illogical.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey Bansek

    The Boxcar Children, Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny, head to Silver Falls with their grandpa, Mr. Alden. They take the usual stop at Mr. Tom’s gas station, where Benny always puts his pennies in the gumball machine hoping to get the lucky foil covered gumball. After visiting Mr. Tom’s gas station, Mr. Alden and the children always head to Piccolo’s Pizza, but this time they have trouble finding it. After much confusion, they found the pizza place in a much different state than the last time th The Boxcar Children, Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny, head to Silver Falls with their grandpa, Mr. Alden. They take the usual stop at Mr. Tom’s gas station, where Benny always puts his pennies in the gumball machine hoping to get the lucky foil covered gumball. After visiting Mr. Tom’s gas station, Mr. Alden and the children always head to Piccolo’s Pizza, but this time they have trouble finding it. After much confusion, they found the pizza place in a much different state than the last time they had seen it. The children go in and talk to Mr. and Mrs. Piccolo and find out that the gas line had broken, which meant they couldn’t use the brick oven, the secret weapon for the pizza. On top of this, they had been losing a lot of business lately. Instead of returning home, the children stay and help Mr. and Mrs. Piccolo get their shop back into shape. Everyone hopes to get the shop back into shape and business, but troubles occur along the way. Who is keeping the business away? Why does the gas line break and the electricity go out? Why do the factory workers next door not visit the pizza shop? And why does their beloved friend Nick visit this factory? Read to solve the mystery of the pizza shop and to find out if business returns. This book, along with other ones in the series, could be used to introduce the genre of mystery. The author really draws the reader into the story in a way that would truly allow students to understand the genre. Students could also practice predicting. There are clear places within the story where students could stop and predict what they think would happen next. They could also predict who they think was plotting after the pizza shop. This would help them learn to predict and they could practice providing text evidence. Students would have to give support (text evidence) for why they thought the person they predicted was the one who was plotting against the shop. I also think that students could discuss or learn more about character development within the story. All of the children’s characters develop throughout the story. Students could discuss the main characters and what they learn about them throughout the book. Another way they could do this is by picking one of the children and sharing why they relate to this character. It would help students to understand whom each character was and make connections with the book to their own experiences. The author keeps the reader engaged throughout the entire book. There was not a single moment where I wanted to stop and put the book down. In fact, I read the entire book in one sitting, which is quite abnormal for me. I constantly wanted to know what was going to happen next because there was so much suspense after each chapter. Warner writes in a way that makes the reader feel as if they are watching the scene happen!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ashlee

    Warner, G., & Tang, C. (1993). The pizza mystery. Morton Grove, Ill.: A. Whitman. Interest Level: K-3 The pizza mystery is a good book for students that love to solve mysteries and have different personalities they can relate too to the book. The author brings the readers attention to the characters that have their own different personalities. This book would help students understand no matter how old you are you can always achieve your goals with putting your mind to it. In the book the children Warner, G., & Tang, C. (1993). The pizza mystery. Morton Grove, Ill.: A. Whitman. Interest Level: K-3 The pizza mystery is a good book for students that love to solve mysteries and have different personalities they can relate too to the book. The author brings the readers attention to the characters that have their own different personalities. This book would help students understand no matter how old you are you can always achieve your goals with putting your mind to it. In the book the children had a passion for pizza so they did what they could to save the pizza place from being shut down. This could give the children that is reading the book if they have that much passion for something they can achieve it if they want to. A good book for children that are getting comfortable into chapter books, but still need a little easier text in the book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    i just finished reading this one with my students. They love the Boxcar series. This is a good one to read with kids. It is a relatively easy chapter book. I feel that the boxcar children books get a little draggy at times, but my students are big fans! Whatever works! In this one, the kids work at solving a mystery surrounding the closing of their favorite pizza place. Once again, the kids take charge and attempt to find ways to make the pizza place successful...encountering some problems and my i just finished reading this one with my students. They love the Boxcar series. This is a good one to read with kids. It is a relatively easy chapter book. I feel that the boxcar children books get a little draggy at times, but my students are big fans! Whatever works! In this one, the kids work at solving a mystery surrounding the closing of their favorite pizza place. Once again, the kids take charge and attempt to find ways to make the pizza place successful...encountering some problems and mysterious people along the way.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I could imagine plowing through these as a kid, but the Baby-Sitter's Club held all my attention back then :) These are good, wholesome reads that I would recommend to any elementary school student. The author stresses morals, hard work, and inquisitiveness and these aren't fad childrens' books; they have staying power.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    I think this is my favourite out of all the ghostwritten ones I've read, because it involved pizza and they don't know the culprit and motive until the last chapter. Though as an adult, the Piccolo's business acumen leaves a little to be desired, even if they're just running a really, really simplified restaurant for the sake of the narrative.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Halee

    Reading Level: 4.1 Interest Level: K-3 Warner brings this story of mystery to life with the use of interesting characters that each have their own distinct personalities. The main characters are on a mission to solve the mystery and keep their favorite pizza place from being shut down. This book is great for readers who have began to read chapter books, but still need easier text.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    This book CD entertained our whole family, with kids ages 4-10, on a long drive. It was even interesting to the grown-ups in the car. We would pause the CD every now and then and each take guesses at what was going on. Our 10 year old selected the story from the library and found a hit with our family.

  24. 5 out of 5

    ABC

    The four Alden kids work at a pizza shop that is suddenly having troubles. A little unbelievable that the owners would be so clueless and that they would let kids work there. (Child labor laws?) My son liked this book because he loves pizza.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Caitlan Jett

    Reading Level: 4.1 Interest Level: K-3 The characters in the book are brought to life in the child's eyes and they are able to see that just because they are children does not mean they can not accomplish a goal or a passion they have of something like a pizza joint being shut down.

  26. 4 out of 5

    William V

    Good book It's good and I really like it because it was really interesting what I really like about it is that I like pizza and so that is why I like this book I would recommend this book to everyone who likes pizzas

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca (whenallotherlightsgoout)

    One of my favorite childhood series. I read over a hundred of them. The first 50 or so were in order; after that I read whatever book I could get my hands on :) This had to be one of my favorites. I love making pizza from scratch :)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    My kids liked this pretty well, but I found the characters (adult protagonists) to be really devious and conniving. The caretakers of the children quickly forgave their illegal actions, which I didn't find to be a good example for my kids.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I like this book, because it is about making pizza!! Doesn't that sound FUN!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    Much to my chagrin, I find myself sucked into these formulaic Boxcar Children books as much as the boys. Much to my chagrin, the solutions to the mysteries sometimes elude me. :s

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