There I was, just walking by the "First in Series" table in the Children's section of the Tuscaloosa Public Library when I spotted this little book, Regarding the Fountain, by Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise. The subtitle was A Tale, in Letter, of Liars and Leaks, so I thought I would check it out. And check it out, I did!
This book is told exclusively through letters, memos, notes, and newspaper articles. It is both a funny book and a mystery. The problem, as the principal Mr. Wally Russ reports it, is that there is a leaky water fountain near the fifth grade classroom at Dry Creek Middle School. Mr. Russ contacts Ms. Florence (Flo) Waters, who owns Flowing Waters Fountains, Inc., about replacing the fountain. She asks for input from Mr. Sam N.'s fifth grade class and the fun begins . . .
I enjoyed the different ways of communicating that were illustrated in this book. I also liked the integration of newspapers into the story line. I thought the names of all the characters were funny, too, but I found that I had to read the name aloud to "get" most of them. (Go back and read the principal's name and the teacher's name aloud to see what I mean.)
I would recommend this book to students in grades 2-5. The reading level is 5.8 according to Accelerated Reader, but I think all ages of kids would enjoy it. The pictures would help readers with the content and they make the book even more enjoyable. This would be a great book to use with a unit on writing letters or solving mysteries. I loved it and can't wait to read the next installment, Regarding the Sink.