Grade Eight Book Project Model.

Joey Wetmore, Block E Class

A Clue for Scooby-Doo By William Hannah and Joeseph Barbera


 In the novel, A Clue for Scooby-Doo, the setting is crucial to the story because it typifies the stereotype of teens at the time.  Although it appears to have no given time or place, for example the beach is merely labeled “Rocky Point”, closer examination reveals clues.  I would guess that the time period is the late 1960’s or the early 1970’s based on the style of dress and the eyeglasses that would appear outdated by today’s standards.  The language used by the characters typifies this time period with statements such as, “Groovy” and “Far-out”.   I would hypothesize that the location is California due to the surfing references, and again, the language of the characters.


The protagonist is Scooby-Doo, but the main characters of the crime fighting team make you believe they act as one.  They could definitely be labeled as adventurous and inquisitive as they seek to fight any injustice or mystery that confronts them.  I would consider them all developing characters as they search for clues that help them learn and overcome the obstacles of the mystery or case.  Their adventures eventually help them to mature as productive members of our society as they fight crime.


The antagonists are unknown to the protagonists at the start of the story.  All that the protagonists know is that ships are missing and there is some ghost diver causing alarm.  The protagonists do not see a connection to these two events despite it being obvious to the audience of readers.  The story evolves and we are given clues to the identity and locations of the criminals/ ghosts and stolen ships.  I would consider them static characters because they do not change for the better or worse.  They stay the same as they head to jail.


The conflict seems internal as the team make decisions and tries to uncover the mystery, but the external conflict of the criminal’s activities dominates the plot because it is those activities that cause all of the problems.


The inciting incident reveals the problem of the story when our happy group of squeaky-clean teenagers attempts a nighttime party on the beach.  As an audience, we see the ghost diver enter the water, but the true inciting incident is when the protagonist, Scooby-Doo, is surfing and first encounters the ghost diver. 


This leads the team on an adventure of rising action where along the way they encounter a mysterious, widowed witch of a sea captain, and a beach hermit that sounds stereotypically like a pirate.  These interviews lead to more action and clues when the team discovers that boats are missing.


When the team discovers a subterranean cave that holds all of the stolen boats, the mystery seems solved, but the problem is still occurring until the antagonist is captured in a plan-gone-wrong that is geared toward slapstick comedy. Only when this thief is captured do we have the climax.  The falling action reveals that the ghost diver is actually the supposedly dead sea captain, Captain Cutler.  He and his “witch” wife hatched a plan to fake his death in order to act as a ghost and steal boats.  They actually thought that the authorities wouldn’t try to catch a ghost.  The plan may have worked if it wasn’t for the help of, “Those Meddling Kids.”


There is dénouement where the team reads the newspaper back at the malt shop and we learn of the more detailed plans of the imprisoned Cutler family.  This leads us to the conclusion/resolution where we see Scooby pay a joke on the team and when they are all laughing, Scooby laughs, smiles and winks.


I do not feel that the conclusion was satisfactory.  First, the dénouement was too clean; everything was wrapped up too neatly.  Secondly, Scooby’s final scene was too akin to the cliché, “And they all lived happily-ever-after.”  It was so mind-numbingly predictable that I was insulted as a reader.  The authors should have left a more mysterious ending that made the audience think, or they should have utilized some important message or theme about why some people do bad things.  It was an opportunity wasted by the authors and clearly shows the intelligence level they were attracting was an audience far below my reading level.


The type of reader that would like this book is someone that has very little time to read, and maybe needs to read materials below grade level.  If you enjoy television shows that make you reminisce about the good-old-days of your childhood where every problem is solved in under thirty minutes, then this book is for you.  Other titles that are similar to this would be any other screenplays by Joseph Hannah and William Barbera such as Hong Kong Phoowie, The Banana Splits, and H.R Puffinstuff: all classic 70’s children’s’ shows.