Join the WOW Center Teen Reading Ambassadors (TRAP) as we discuss The Agathas by Kathleen Glasgow & Liz Lawson.
This podcast was recorded in the Digital Innovation and Learning Lab (DIALL) in the UArizona College of Education with assistance from the UA COE Tech Team.
Co-Producer: Rebecca Ballenger, WOW Center Associate Director
Co-Producer: Sara Logan, MSRAP Literature Discussant and COE Graduate Student
Audio Engineer: Liam Arias, Student Employee and Radio, TV, Film Major
For more information on the WOW Teen Reading Ambassadors (TRAP), visit wowlit.org.
[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to WOW Reads, a podcast of the Worlds of Words center of global literacies and literatures, which is committed to creating an international network of people who share the vision of bringing books and children together, thereby opening windows on the world. We encourage thoughtful dialogue around global literature so that children can reflect on their own cultural experiences and connect to the experiences of children across the globe.
In this second episode, we're talking to our teen reading ambassadors. WOW Center Teen Reading Ambassador Initiative offers high schoolers students a college experience within the University of Arizona College of Education that focus on books for teens. Ambassadors learn about young adult literature under the direction of faculty and staff with expertise in children's literature, education, library science, and marketing.
We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona's on the land and territories of indigenous peoples. Today, Arizona's home to 22 federally recognized tribes. With Tucson being home to the [00:01:00] O’Odham and Yaqui. Committed to diversity and inclusion, the university strives to build sustainable relationships with sovereign native nations and indigenous communities through education offerings, partnerships, and community service.
Welcome to Castle Cove. A town cursed with missing girls, bad boyfriends, family secrets, and some very steep cliffs.
I’m Echo. I'm Rebecca. I'm also Rebecca. And I'm Sarah.
Today we're talking about the book, the Agathas. An Agatha Christie inspired murder mystery in a small town that leads to unlikely friendships, Um, some Scooby-Doo [00:02:00] shenanigans and a murder. Yeah. This book is by Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson. Um, Echo, let's start with you. What, what, what is your major impression of this book?
What did you think when, while you were reading it? At first, I didn't know what to go into since it was my first time reading a mystery book. And, uh. this was your first mystery? Yeah. Wow. Wow. No, I really just like to the fantasy side of stuff where like, it does have some elements of mystery, but that's not like the overall point.
But this was so good. And you other Rebecca. You should be the main. Rebecca. I'll be the other. Rebecca . Um, no, no, no . I'm just, what am what's the question? What was your overall impression of it? Um, I really, I really liked it. It is not my first mystery, um, but I really enjoy reading murder mysteries and. . [00:03:00] Um, I thought this one was written really well and I really like the dynamic between the two main characters.
Oh, let's get into that. Yeah, let's talk about, so the, the person that is murdered in this story is a girl named Brooke, and she was best friends with the main character Alice. Alice kind of, um, follows the path of Agatha Christie in a way. How did she do that or, yeah. Echo, did you wanna take it? Um, so after a breakup between her and her boyfriend Steve, she ended up reading Agatha Christie's book.
Saw how, um, when her husband started cheating on her, how she ran away, which, this, became serious for her, whether her husband killed her or not, which is what she did, leaving for a few weeks, I think. Just one week. Alice left. Yeah. I, Alice did; Alice, Yeah. She modeled what Agatha Christie did, which Agatha [00:04:00] Christie, her,
She wanted to make a point with her husband, some people think and or she had a dissociative event and she crashed her car and um, went some and went someplace and pretended to have another life for that week. Um, and so Alice in the story does something really similar. Her car is found.
Yeah, and then so when she comes back, she finds that her ex-boyfriend Steve is now dating her best, or her previous old best friend Brooke. One of the mains. One of the mains; cliques. Yeah. So let's just start with that. Let's just start with how many teens do you know would stage some sort of dramatic act like that.
I think I knew people, who can, who would do that. Um, I [00:05:00] think, you have to be in need of a lot of attention and just desperately needing support and help with mental health specifically to do that. So. Echo why would Alice need that kind of attention? Well, as I said earlier with the breakup, and then there's also facts for her parents are very absent in her life, where they only leave a nanny and she doesn't have the best relationship with the nanny more because like she doesn't feel like she needs to depend on anybody cuz how much of her parents leave.
Yeah. So her disappearance kind of, it was almost a call for attention. Mm-hmm. from her parents. And then...Yeah. And then maybe also from the Steve, situation with Steve. So she comes back and what is Steve doing? Ugh. Dating her best ex-best friend. Yeah.Ugh.. ouch. [00:06:00] And she's the one. Brooke is the ex-best friend that's now dating Steve
that later goes missing. Yeah. So let's introduce Iris. So how does Iris get together with Alice? Yeah, go. Iris is another resident of Castle Cove who is very much the opposite of Alice in a way, in a social aspect. And Iris is a very good student and Alice is not; So, Iris ends up tutoring Alice, and.. she doesn't just end up tutoring who puts them together?
Ms. Westcott, the school counselor puts them together, and, um, they end up talking about the, the murder. And Alice, I think Alice is the one who really wants to do something [00:07:00] about it and Iris eventually gets involved in it too and wants to help Alice. Iris also has an extra motive for tutoring Alice’s since her parents, Alice's parents offered a lot of money as she passes.
And Iris's mom is a bartender and does not get, um, much money and the father figure of Iris is absent. So it's a forced relationship. Is it a successful one?. At first it doesn't seem that way because they do have like a lot of arguing moments. But as you get closer to the end, you see how much they depend and trust each other.
So it does work in the end.
And who else kind of comes into play with their relationship? Well, they have the mains and the mains surround Alice. Who surrounds Iris? Iris has her. strange or [00:08:00] diverse group of friends that she brings into to help her with the, the mystery. And, um, they end up getting closer to Alice because Alice realizes that her friends are not the greatest.
Mm-hmm. so, So these are the Zoners. Mm-hmm. Am I right? Mm-hmm. So the Zoners, what I really like about the Zoners is that they have so many specialty skills. Mm-hmm. they're like the toolbox of friends. Yeah. I think even in one scene they arrived, I think they were trying to trace some steps through the woods.
I can't remember what they were trying to do. Mm-hmm. and they were trying to look for, for proof. Oh yeah. And they just popped. The trunk and the trunk had like all of these tools for; It's like, who has that in their trunk? Yeah. I remember that scene. They're also just like a funny, silly group of friends that bounce off of each other [00:09:00] while their personalities go up.
So there's the seriousness of the murder, but it has this sort of comic. Mm-hmm. I remember laughing out loud at some of the parts of this book because I really liked that specific friend group. Yeah. And at the same time that we're building, I feel like as a reader, building trust around Iris's close friends, the Zoners were also kind of losing trust in the mains.
and it goes back to the night that Brooke went missing. There was a party, and for a long time there was a suspect; And that was Steve. Mm-hmm. But what happened with Steve that night? That was, do you remember? Steve also went missing for a few hours and. Showing up at school, I believe the morning after, and he just looks completely ruined, like his clothes are ruined and he's all dirty [00:10:00] and he's missing his shoe, which becomes a
an important piece of proof. Um, oh, we should point out right now that since this is a mystery, we're, we're gonna try and avoid spoilers. Okay. Thank you Main Rebecca for, for not, No, it's okay. He's, he's missing a shoe. That's a, that's a plot point. It's fine. Yeah. Okay. And there's a lot of instances with that shoe
Yeah, the shoe. Like talk about comic relief. I think the shoe was a little bit. Yeah, because it's definitely, it's just an unexpected shoe. A red shoe, right? It's a red herring. Yeah. Like the, anyway, so we got to, so we got to meet Kathleen Glasgow. She came to talk to our group. Um, what stood out to you about that meeting?
We'll start with you. Let go. I just really loved how she talked about how they each focus on one perspective and how they're communicating with each other. Also, reference between the characters. L ike how she mentioned, [00:11:00] like how they have a little argument in her fight. It'll represent that in the book and it's just amazing.
Um, I thought it was cool that Kathleen Glasgow branched out from her normal genre, but still kind of kept it with her, her character that she was writing, which was Iris. Um, but she still branched out and she said that; that was a cool experience. Yeah. Their voices are strong. I enjoyed, I love true crime, so I enjoyed when Kathleen came and, and, uh, she talked about, um, her influence for writing this book and how she really pays attention.
She shared with us a true crime event that had happened in Tucson back in 1930, I think Tickety-tok. , yeah. 19, if-fitty whatever. About a, um, young person that had went missing and was found later on. Yeah, we don't have to, it's a pretty, it's [00:12:00] a pretty frightening story. Yeah. But I definitely recommend people look, you know, maybe look it up.
Yeah. You know, I see the box in the desert, but, um, wow. Yeah. We were all kind of interested in true crime at that moment. Mm-hmm. Um, and that led us to ask her about follow-ups. Do you remember what she said about her, whether or not she and Liz Lawson were gonna continue this writing partnership? Yeah, so, um, once you read the last page, they kind of branch off it's, um, a murder
they talk about, like in the beginning, that happened in the past in West Cove. ..Cove.. Castle Cove.. Castle Cove. I was thinking about other stuff. Sorry. Um, and then they branch out in the end where it's like, oh, what if we try to solve it? And then they kind of ended off that. And she did also say she was gonna write another book.
Yeah. And so you were saying earlier, well, maybe, I'm not sure that there were, that you were interested in other components of Castle Cove, like what else was happening? Yeah, I was saying that [00:13:00] there. That's not the only murder from the past, that is also just kind of mentioned in the book. There's at least three that, um, I definitely was still wondering about at the end.
Mm-hmm. , because I thought maybe everything would come together and we would figure everything out from other, from all the other, um, plot points. But I definitely want to know more about. . Yeah, me too. I wanna know more about that. Yep.
Um, yeah, so I wanna know more about that and I'm looking forward to the next book by Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson. Um, and you should definitely pick up a copy of the Agathas if you are interested in putting all of these pieces together and finding out who did it.
Okay. Thank you everybody for participating in this Well Reads podcast.
Um, we are reading the next book, and our next book [00:14:00] is We Are Reading a Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy Lynn. Yeah. So our next podcast will, um, go over that book. We'll talk about, um, meeting Judy Lynn as well. Um, meanwhile, we have to offer thanks to Liam Arias, our, uh, sound engineer and podcast production editor.
King of all things, I guess. Um, Sarah Logan, who runs the lit discussions for us. I'm Rebecca Ballenger and we are recording from the DIALL Lab in the University of Arizona College of Education.