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Read an Excerpt
Jada and her family have joined her father on a business trip to Italy. When an ancient scepter is stolen from a museum right in front of her eyes, Jada becomes more than a witness. Aided by clues in verse, a puzzle, Snapchat photos and WhatsApp messages from an anonymous amica, Jada and her new friend, Carlo, search for the scepter in and around Rome. Along the way, they must fend off attacks of a Roma girl, a Bulgarian henchman and others intent on doing whatever it takes to stop them from finding it. Can Jada recover the scepter and uncover the thief before it’s time to leave Rome?
Join Jada on an adventure that takes her to underground catacombs, jet skiing on the Mediterranean Sea, scuba diving in a volcanic lake and to Rome’s famous monuments as she solves a mystery and saves her father’s business deal in the process.



5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging & well-plotted mystery
Reviewed in the United States on October 17, 2021

I loved this book. Jada is such a fun, smart, likable character and her sleuthing is gripping. I loved following her around fascinating locations and I felt like i was on her adventures with her. Add Jada to the pantheon of young detectives in literary history


5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story
Reviewed in the United States on January 17, 2022

I quite enjoyed reading Jada Johnson, International Girl Detective. This is the first book I have read by this author and was intrigued to see if Jada along with the rest of the characters would solve the mystery of the missing Scepter.

This book was different from what I have read in that it gave actual images and history lessons. However, since it was part of the story it did not seem boring or out of place.

The author made me feel I was there alongside experiencing everything Jada was experiencing. It did keep me guessing until the very end and I never figured out who the “amica” was until it was revealed. Great story, easy to follow with some quite interesting characters.


5.0 out of 5 stars So much fun!!!
Reviewed in the United States on September 16, 2021

This book is genuinely so much fun! It is exciting, educational, and definitely keeps you guessing all the way until the end. I have already recommended it to my friends and their siblings! It was amazing to see some representation for young black girls. Definitely a great read for ages 9-14.


5.0 out of 5 stars Great children’s book
Reviewed in the United States on September 12, 2021

This is a such a fun book! It has great characters, an intriguing mystery, and a beautifully realized Italian setting. Jada is funny, brave, and smart, and I really enjoyed reading the adventures she got up in the story. Overall, I would definitely recommend if you’re looking for a fun middle grade mystery book.

-Isobel Houseman

5.0 out of 5 stars A great fictional book!
Reviewed in the United States on September 26, 2021

This book is exciting, educational and fun! This fictional novel takes you on exciting adventures in Italy while solving mysteries and puzzles. I love the diversity of the characters in this book too. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone!

-A. Walton

5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read!
Reviewed in the United States on September 19, 2021

This book is so well written – I bought it for my aunt’s school and I know her students will absolutely adore it!

-Amazon Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read!
Reviewed in the United States on September 16, 2021

I purchased this book for my younger cousin and she enjoyed it thoroughly. From the representation to the historical aspects to the adventure, she said she couldn’t put the book down. I would definitely recommend this to anyone!

-Bellina Osei

Mar 12, 2022 Jessi rated it really liked it

This was a middle-grade adventure novel, reminiscent of the Magic Tree House books. The history throughout the book is a great way for kids to learn new knowledge. I could see students wanting to read this book after learning about Rome, similar to how Jada is excited to go to Rome because she just learned about it in school. I would recommend this book be in a classroom library because it is engaging and educators can do activities centered around the text, history, or riddles.


Mar 17, 2022 Karen Bell rated it it was amazing

We enjoyed this book , it is an exciting adventure with a good amount of history and geographical information about Rome. Not quite as good as visiting Rome but almost as good. Lots of exciting episodes and evoked many questions about the city and its history. Would make a great story when studying the Romans.

-Karen Bell

Jan 23, 2022T Olsen rated it it was amazing

For its age group, this is a very good book. Well written, easy to read and packed with action. It’s also packed with educational points, as such a book should be. The only weakness is the plot, but it, of course, makes the basis for all the action.


The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

As a fan of Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden growing up, I enjoyed reading about a young detective for the next generation! Jada is competent, interesting, and smart, and her antics are fun to read. I loved the author’s choice to include so much history, information about the city of Rome, and pictures of pertinent art and artifacts. Recommend for all middle grade girls.

-Callie Anna O, Reviewer

Jet set travel to Italy – check
A mystery (who stole the ancient scepter of Emperor Maxentius?) to be solved – check
Action and adventure in and around Rome’s sites and monuments – check
Russian bad guys – check
A budding romance between our heroine and her new Italian friend – check

This book checks all the boxes of a fun and entertaining middle grade mystery. Exciting whodunnit!

-Reviewer 920971

A cute, fun, educational spy novel for kids! Very Nancy Drew meets Magic Treehouse kind of feeling as Jada goes on the adventure to track down the missing scepter. Plenty of excitement and intrigue for a kids mystery novel, while throwing in some educational tidbits. Highly recommend for older kids who need a bit more of a reading challenge, as some of their first longer chapter books.

-Reviewer 915905

Reading middle-grade fiction has become a secret joy. The subtitle, The Case of the Emperor’s Scepter, caught my attention.

As I read the synopsis and studied the cover, I knew this was a must-read.

I felt a twinge of excitement, as well as a healthy sense of curiosity as to how the character would be portrayed and developed.

I enjoyed the literary tour of Rome through the eyes of Jada, her brother Justin, and Carlos. The pictures of Rome were accurate and added to the story.
Perfect for middle-grade (and adult) readers who are interested in international travel and enjoy light-hearted mysteries with minimal suspense. I highly recommend this book!

Overall, I enjoyed this excellent, middle-grade page-turner.

-Erica W, Reviewer

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book is well written and the characters are described well. This is a fast paced middle grade mystery. This is a enjoyable read. It makes you want to visit Rome. It will keep you engaged and entertained. I absolutely enjoyed this middle grade book. This book is in stores for $12.99 (USD).

-Kate C, Reviewer