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LeVar Burton’s Next Story

In actor LeVar Burton’s podcast, sounds have gone missing. Can Burton and Detective Hunch solve the mystery?

Headshot of LeVar Burton next to artwork of a man in a hat and trench bending down to examine an ear with feet and a face.

Courtesy of Stitcher Studios

Actor and director LeVar Burton has always loved a good story, and he knows that kids do, too. Burton’s new podcast, Sound Detectives, is a juicy mystery series that has kids listening closely.

In the podcast, Burton is getting ready to open the Museum of Sound, which celebrates all the wonderful sounds in the universe. When he discovers that some sounds have been separated from their sources, he hires Detective Hunch to find them. With help from a giant ear named Audie, Burton and the detective work to track down those sounds…and catch the thief who has been stealing them. 

Burton first became famous when he played Kunta Kinte, a man who was captured and then enslaved, in the 1977 TV miniseries Roots. Since then, he has had numerous acting roles. Star Trek fans know him as Geordi La Forge in the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation.

But Burton is equally well known as the host of a kids’ TV series called Reading Rainbow, which ran from 1983 to 2006. In that show, Burton read and recommended fantastic books, inspiring many kids to become enthusiastic readers. Today, many of those same kids (who are now adults) listen to LeVar Burton Reads, a podcast on which Burton reads stories out loud.

Sound Detectives is Burton’s first podcast for kids. He hopes it will take listeners on a great adventure and inspire them to keep exploring.

“[Sound Detectives] appeals to the…curiosity in a child about the world around them,” Burton told the New York Times. “It introduces them to parts of the world that they might not have yet been exposed to.”

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Did You Know?

Sounds on Mars are different from sounds on Earth. That’s because the atmospheres of the two planets are very different. Thanks to a rover (robot) named Perseverance, which is exploring Mars and recording sounds, NASA is getting some idea of what things sound like on the Red Planet. 

Play the video to find out what NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter sounds like when it flies over Mars!


Dig Into These Mysteries!

The covers of Chester Kenne Cracks the Code, The Area 51 Files, and Ghosts in the Gallery over a backdrop of a typewriter, a sealed scroll, and a rope.

© Pixel-Shot/, Delacorte Press, Penguin Random House, iUniverse; Photo illustration Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

If you love puzzles or posing lots of questions, you might love the twists and turns of a mystery story. In a mystery, one or more characters are trying to solve a crime…and the reader is kept guessing who the criminal is until the end of the story.

Here are a few mysteries you can check out. Ask your teacher or librarian for more recommendations!

Chester Keene Cracks the Code, by Kekla Magoon

Chester Keene’s dad is a spy who works for the government. Other than that, Chester’s life is predictable—and that’s the way he likes it. But when Chester and his friend Skye begin to unravel a mystery wrapped in a puzzle, they realize they need to act fast in order to stop a robbery.

The Area 51 Files, by Julie Buxbaum

Sky Patel-Baum and an odd cast of characters (including a hedgehog) set out to investigate a top-secret government military base called Area 51. Just as Sky suspected, the place is full of aliens! But when the creatures start to disappear, she needs to find out why.

Ghosts in the Gallery, by Barbara Brooks Wallace

In the 1800s, an orphan named Jenny is sent to live with her grandfather, who she’s never met, in a big, gloomy house. But instead of her grandfather, she finds an uncle who claims he’s never heard of her and makes her live in the spooky cellar. Does Jenny belong here? Who is she, and who are the people in this strange, scary home?

Get to Know Joan Aiken

Lizza Aiken (; Photo illustration Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Author Joan Aiken wrote many books for young readers, including some mysterious tales. You can read about the life of this famous author at Britannica!

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