The Great Chocolate Caper by Mary Ann Carr was generously provided to me by Prufrock Press for review. Overall, I’ve been very impressed with the logic products I’ve seen from Prufrock Press and this book is no exception.
We Love Logic!
The Great Chocolate Caper: A Mystery that Teaches Logic Skills is meant for the 5th-8th grader. I used it with my 5th grade son and 8th grade daughter who have both been doing logic puzzlers from early elementary age. They jumped into this with great excitement because the puzzlers were part of a mystery they had to help solve.
Reginald Van Fiesty, owner of the world-famous chocolate factgory Dutch Delight Chocolates, is excited about his brand-new recipe for chocolate. But before he can manufacture even the first chocolate bar, the recipe is stolen!
Through a variety of logic exercises, your child whittles down the nine person suspect list until the culprit is discovered. He will solve matrix puzzles, determine valid vs. invalid assumptions, pinpoint false premises and valid conclusions, examine fingerprint clues and decode secret messages.
There are nine lessons, each focusing on a different type of evidence. Each lesson includes more than one activity, meaning the lessons could take more than one day to complete. My children, however, finished the entire mystery in only three days worth of math/science time because they were so excited about solving the crime.
For children who are newer to logic (or those like mine who love logic), the back half of the book includes 21 MORE practice puzzles. They are related to the theme of the chocolate mystery, but don’t provide any additional key evidence. In fact, I saved these to do after the mystery was solved as logic fillers for our one day a week of logic time.
Those of you with middle school children who are looking for an inexpensive book to enhance logic, The Great Chocolate Caper might just fit the bill. If you’re new to logic, you may want to get a beginner book first because this one is truly on a middle school level. It assumes that you have had at least some experience with matrix puzzles.