By Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz
Available now from Razorbill (Penguin)
Colin Fischer is just looking to get through high school. But one day someone brings a gun to school, and bully Wayne Connelly is blamed. Colin knows Wayne didn't do it, but that means he has to find the real culprit to prove Wayne's innocence. Colin may have trouble putting together a facial expression with what people are thinking and feeling, but he has other powers of perception.
I loved the format of COLIN FISCHER. There are excerpts from Colin's journal and lots of footnotes in addition to the third-person narration. Emotions are always mentioned in skinny capital letters. These bits of flair give insight into the way Colin thinks. He has Asperger's Syndrome, giving him a different point of view on what happened in the cafeteria than the rest of his classmates who are perfectly content to believe the disliked and low class Wayne Connelly did it.
There's a nice balance between Colin's school and home life and the mystery. COLIN FISCHER sets up a series, so there have to be some elements that will carry through future entries. There's a love interest, a new friendship, and Colin's fledgling basketball skills. He's also got a complicated relationship with his younger brother, who resents the fact that Colin isn't "normal." As for the mystery, I liked that Colin doesn't quite understand the danger he puts himself in. He just wants to solve the puzzle, but there are people who don't want the puzzle solved. It made a bit more sense than some protagonists who through themselves knowingly into danger.
I think COLIN FISCHER could be the start of a very fun mystery series. There's always room for more idiosyncratic, determined detectives, at least in my opinion. I also enjoyed the factoids sprinkled throughout the text, courtesy of Colin, because I love trivia. I like that Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz did their research and make an effort to portray Colin's social issues accurately. Overall, I liked COLIN FISCHER quite a bit and I'll be back for the sequel.