Mysterious: Learning with Supergranny

What do three-time Emmy-nominee Jennifer Garner and 64-year-old grandmother Bev Van Hook of Charlottesville have in common?


Well, other than a penchant for hiking, both have recently been featured in Art & Soul, a new book published by the Appalachian Education Initiative that honors 50 native West Virginians who have made significant contributions to literary, performing, and visual arts.

Van Hook, author of the Supergranny mystery series, two mysteries for grown-ups, and The Graduate's Guide to Life, is currently working on her 11th book, Boss Supergranny, scheduled to be published next spring, just in time for the anniversary of Supergranny's debut 20 years ago.

"Boss Supergranny is actually non-fiction," says Van Hook. "It will serve as a cap to the books, explaining how I wrote them. After that, I'm not planning to write anymore for that series."

Although Van Hook might be ready to put the series to rest, Supergranny is still kicking.

"Supergranny is being represented by an agent in California for television possibilities," says Van Hook. "I think she's made an impression."

She undoubtedly has, as has many a children's mystery series. Van Hook is a firm believer in using mysteries as a teaching tool.

"I ran a workshop, 'Teaching with Mysteries,' for quite a few years for libraries and schools," she says. "It was about teachers using mysteries for educational purposes. The great advantage of mysteries is that they draw kids into reading and keep their interest level high."

Not just kids. Van Hook was originally inspired to write children's mysteries when she realized how popular adult mysteries are. This fall, she'll be working on her third, Three Widows and a Yacht.

"A friend has invited me to visit her on her yacht on the Riviera," says Van Hook. "For research purposes, of course."

Bev Van Hook