By Rick Stevens
Kindle Vella Project (Active)
Foster kid Kieran spends most of his time alone, exploring the basement of the old apartment building where his family lives. His only friend is Charles, the maintenance man. But when he meets Malaya, another kid his age in the same building, the two team up to explore real and imagined mysteries. Along the way, they add other kids to their group and help each other to learn and grow.
This is a delightful story appropriate for mid-grade readers. I love how Kieran and Malaya think, how they approach problematic situations with peaceful and constructive solutions. For example, instead of fighting the bullies on their street, they help and befriend them. Their group expands as they reach out to other kids, until they have a regular little mystery club and, through their eyes, we see how each one handles family problems kids face. The support they show to one another is a great example for young readers.
Within the narrative are awesome instructive tidbits, like how to use logic and see clues to answers others might miss or overlook. The kids work collaboratively to solve their club’s discovered mysteries, as well as to contribute to a story they want to enter into a school competition.
Overall, this is a great little story I suspect kids will love.