The Case of the Burgled Bundle: A Mighty Muskrats Mystery: Book 3

A Mighty Muskrats Mystery: Book 3

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Pub Date 06 Apr 2021 | Archive Date 25 Mar 2021

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Description

The National Assembly of Cree Peoples has gathered together in the Windy Lake First Nation, home to the Mighty Muskrats—cousins Chickadee, Atim, Otter, and Sam. But when the treaty bundle, the center of a four-day-long ceremony, is taken, the four mystery-solving cousins set out to catch those responsible and help protect Windy Lake’s reputation! What’s worse, prime suspect Pearl takes off to the city with her older brother and known troublemaker, Eddie. If they have the burgled bundle with them, the Mighty Muskrats fear it may be lost for good. With clues pointing in too many different directions, the cousins need to find and return the missing bundle before the assembly comes to an end. The history and knowledge passed down to each generation through the bundle is at stake.

The National Assembly of Cree Peoples has gathered together in the Windy Lake First Nation, home to the Mighty Muskrats—cousins Chickadee, Atim, Otter, and Sam. But when the treaty bundle, the center...


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ISBN 9781772601664
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Featured Reviews

The Mighty Muskrats mysteries are about Children of the Cree First Nations peoples, and this story is the third book in the series, of the four cousins who solve mysteries set on their reserve (known as a reservation in the US).

Each mystery has been one that would be unique to this series, and this is especially true in this case, where there is a Cree ceremony and a bundle that represents the stories of Treaty 12 (which doesn't exist in real life, as there were only 11 treaties. The author said that in keeping with the theme of this story, that the ceremony is sacred, he didn't want to write about a real thing.)

I love how the author blends into the story Cree philosophy and world views. In this case, is is from the Elders, one of whom explains why there is an oral tradition, rather than one where the memories are written down, or photographed.

She gives the example of hearing the story of cinderella. When you hear it, you imagine what she looks like. But when you see it, that image is locked into your brain, and you can't unsee it.

There is great love in this story, and good lessons taught. The kids solve the mystery, but with love, because the Cree ceremony and gathering should not accuse anyone when everyone is trying to get together.

One of the important lessons is family. The other is place. And the bundle are the objects with memories and stories that are shared.

And that it is cold outside the tent, as one of the elders explains.

So this story is both part mystery as well as thoughts on how people all must work together

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

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The Case of the Burgled Bundle stands as a particularly strong entry in author Michael Hutchinson's Mighty Muskrats series. It offers a gripping, tight mystery that I think really speaks to Hutchinson’s deft ability as a writer.

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Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. It will be released April 6, 2021, by Second Story Press.

Like the first two of Michael Hutchinson's (Misipawistik Cree) Mighty Muskrat series, this mystery integrates Cree ways of knowing the world into a modern day mystery novel. Each of the books so far has introduced readers to different aspects of Indigenous life and culture. They are a fascinating mirror for Indigenous readers, and a window for the rest of us.

This tale is set at The National Assembly of Cree Peoples being held at the fictional Windy Lake First Nation, home to the Mighty Muskrats.

The Mighty Muskrats include cousins Chickadee, Atim, Otter, and Sam. Their home base is hidden deep within an old junkyard. Chickadee and Otter live on the reserve. Atim and Sam, two brothers, live in the city away from their family and traditions. They end up making cultural mistakes, but it's obvious that this doesn't mean they are not part of the people. Over time, they will learn. I appreciate the role of Sam, who can't help but ask questions. It's through the answers that outsiders like me come to understand more about the culture. We learn together.

I love that the book educates as it entertains. It clarifies what it means to be Indigenous or Metis, with Grandpa explaining: "A little bit of Indian blood in you does not a nation make. The Metis are a nation. That's what's Indigenous to Canada... that nation and culture."

Readers will learn about treaties signed between Indigenous nations and Canada. It shows the importance of ceremony in the Cree culture and highlights the significance of memory bundles. A bundle contains objects that represent the oral histories of the group. A treaty bundle includes the Indigenous perspective of the treaty or treaties signed with another nation. It could be another Indigenous nation or Canada. Being the keeper of the bundle is a sacred trust. "Keepers don't own the stories, but they must steward them through history. Tell them in the same way each time, so the next generation can be given that memory. Undamaged. Unforgotten."

During a ceremony, the cousins' grandfather makes a comment that offends another elder. To resolve the issue Grandpa contacts Leon Shining Deer and his wife, the keepers of the Treaty 12 bundle. It is a bundle known to create unity, so they ask him to come share the bundle to help reconcile the conflict.

When the bundle goes missing it's a huge deal. The nearby RCMP won't even bother with it, but the children's Uncle Levi, the local band constable, begins to investigate the crime. Of course the Mighty Muskrats are there to help out. There is no shortage of suspects.

Part of what I admire about this series is that characters are complicated. Bullies are shown to have pain of their own. Mending relationships and healing are possible. I appreciate that the book shows a collaborative community. While they are helping solve the crime, the Muskrats help set up the local gym to feed the guests at the assembly and work with elders in all kinds of ways.

This mystery series takes me back to my youth. I was a hard core fan of Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton, Trixie Belden & The Hardy Boys.

These are even better.

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New to this series, I loved the reverence for community and culture. The Mighty Muskrats are a great group of friends that young readers will enjoy. I appreciated Hutchinson touching on the shame and complex emotions of not knowing one's hereditary language. And I loved the kindness he showed in the mentor / mentee relationships.

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This looks to be a great series, the third book is wonderful, and I want to add the entire series to our collection.

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The Mighty Muskrats have a new case! This time cousins Sam, Atim, Otter, and Chickadee seek to discover who stole the sacred treaty bundle from the National Assembly of Cree Peoples. On the second morning of the four-day celebration, hosted by the Windy Lake community, the sacred bundle goes missing.

The four amateur sleuths combine helping their community host the event with digging into the mystery of who stole the Treaty Bundle and why. These modern-day Boxcar Children won’t give up, no matter how discouraging their progress.

The goodwill of their community and other Cree groups depend on the return of the sacred bundle. Along the way, they learn valuable lessons about ceremony, respect, and keeping faith.

Why I Love This Book

The world needs to hear more about First Nation and Native American ways of seeing, doing, and being. For too long, Whites have believed the myths passed down through the centuries. The myth of the stoic Native, the myth of Natives stealing, the myth of Natives as savages all get put to rest as Hutchinson shares the culture of his people through the eyes of four youngsters.

Teachers, librarians, parents, and grandparents will want to add this book (and the first two Mighty Muskrat books) to their libraries. Those who work with Native American or First Nations children will delight in a well-written mystery series with Cree protagonists.

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“You are the land you live on.”

The Treaty 12 bundle binds Canada and the Indigenous nations...but as the preparations for a ceremony featuring it commence, the bundle goes missing. Who stole it? Where did the bundle end up? What happens to the ceremonies? The Mighty Muskrats strive to answer these questions in Michael Hutchinson's The Case of the Burgled Bundle.

This book immerses us into the rich culture of the Cree people. The culture gave meanings to seemingly normal, random everyday events and items. Which amazed me. The author made me ask why then gave the answer to the question as part of the beautiful narrative. It gave us a picture of culture and its importance.

The characters in this book are very singular...unique. Particularly the Muskrats! It's amazing how quickly I picked up the various traits of the characters, owed to the ingenuity of the author. I love books that can execute this in a subtle manner.

I honestly thought this was gonna be a boring read but I stand corrected. The introduction of the bundles immediately caught my attention. The ceremony was a wonderful thing to witness! The sleuthing so much more! I was reading the Hardy Boys mysyeries and comparison to the Mighty Muskrats books is very accurate.

Overall, The Case of the Burgled Bundle is super exciting, fun and rife with morals. Curious and inquisitive young readers will certainly adore this book.

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Hutchinson shows the importance of tradition, ritual and community in the third book of his Mighty Muskrats mystery series. The mighty muskrats struggle to find out who stole the bundle, with the 12th treaty. As they find a lot of community members who had the opportunity to steal this sacred bundle, the truth may be more than they expected.

This book goes way deeper than a typical middle grade mystery. There is a huge discussion of community, dignity, forgiveness within its pages. If you are looking for a neatly wrapped up book, this is not that book. The author purposely crafts a story that demands our attention to how the past biases of the colonizers continues to impact indigenous and first nations people.

I learned a lot about the Cree nation, or rather this particular part of it. This is a much needed addition to library bookshelves that highlights indigenous groups outside of the stereotypes.

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