7 Ate 9: The Untold Story (Private I)

by Tara Lazar (Author) Ross MacDonald (Illustrator)

7 Ate 9: The Untold Story (Private I)
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade
Series: Private I

6 has a problem.

Everyone knows that 7 is always after him. Word on the street is that 7 ate 9. If that's true, 6's days are numbered. Lucky for him, Private I is on the case. But the facts just don't add up.

It's odd.

Will Private I put two and two together and solve the problem . . . or is 6 next in line to be subtracted?

More books in the series - See All

Kirkus Reviews

Counting has never been so mysterious or so much fun . 

Publishers Weekly

Lazar's (Normal Norman) hardboiled mystery is narrated by Private I, a pink capital letter who wears a striped tie and fedora, and gestures with white-gloved cartoon hands. His client is an agitated green number 6: "Word on the street is that 7 ate 9! And now he's after me!" "Stay here. I'll get to the root of this," says I. "I hope so," responds 6. "I fear my days are numbered." MacDonald's (Henry's Hand) nostalgic artwork fits the noirish setup to a T (so to speak), and his chunky letters and numbers, created using 19th-century wood type, make for an eye-catching and highly appealing cast. His city streets feature brick storefronts and aerodynamically contoured automobiles, and a slice of pi costs $3.14 at the local diner. The solution to the mystery is pretty clever, the pace is brisk, and the arithmetic jokes approach infinity ("I knew about this 7 fella," muses I. "He was odd"). Lazar's numbers game stands up to repeat readalouds, which allow readers to review each groaner of a pun. Ages 3-5. Author's agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. Illustrator's agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (May)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

K-Gr 3--Private investigator Al F. Bet relates a recent case history--the mysterious disappearance of Number 9. It all starts with Client Number 6, who comes into the office visibly agitated about Number 7. Has shady 7 committed a horrific crime? Are his own days "numbered"? In search of some leads, the PI heads to Cafe Uno, and after interviewing a series of suspects and witnesses and having a generous serving of pi, he adds up the evidence in page after page of math-related wordplay. The intrepid investigator ignores all negatives, solving the mystery of the missing number by searching the streets and questioning a collection of verbose cartoon personalities (created digitally with Photoshop, colored pencil, and watercolor) featured prominently on the page. Readers will enjoy finding all of the math references hidden in the text and the art. The dialogue will gain appreciative groans up to the final moment, when Al is ready to resume his letter cases, because "they're A-OK in his book." VERDICT An A-1 purchase for those who love plays on words, mysteries, and humorous tales.--Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Tara Lazar
Tara Lazar is the author of 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story, The Monstore, Little Read Gliding Hood, and a plethora of other picture books. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, two daughters, and a quirky sense of humor. The Upper Case is the second book in the Private I series. Learn more at taralazar.com

Ross MacDonald is the author and illustrator of Bad Baby, Henry's Hand, Achoo! Bang!: The Noisy Alphabet, and Another Perfect Day. He was also the illustrator of 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story, the first book in the Private I series. Ross has created illustrations and humor pieces for periodicals such as Vanity Fair, the New York Times, the New Yorker, Newsweek, Time, Spy, and Rolling Stone. He was born and raised in Canada and now lives in Connecticut. Learn more at ross-macdonald.com.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date
May 20, 2017
Private I
BISAC categories
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV028000 - Juvenile Fiction | Mysteries, Espionage, & Detective Stories
JUV009030 - Juvenile Fiction | Concepts | Counting & Numbers
Library of Congress categories
Mystery and detective stories
Numbers, Natural

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