The greatest Black magicians of the 19th and 20th centuries are likely ones you’ve never heard of before. One of the most prominent was Benjamin Rucker, better known in the day as Black Herman. He along with a few other magicians from the past make an appearance in this engaging new title for middle grade readers.
Twelve year old Kingston and his mom have returned to Echo City, a fictional part of Brooklyn. It’s been more than four years since Kingston watched his magician dad, King Preston, perform a final trick on stage at the famed Mercury Theater. Pop vanished in a mirror and never came back.
Curiosity wins over young Kingston. Along with his cousin, Veronica, and friend, Too Tall, he begins to find clues as to how his dad might be able to reappear. Things don’t go as planned. He loses more than his dad from the get go.
There are tense moments throughout. The writing is crisp and always moving the plot forward. The first person narration spreads out over 39 chapters and an epilogue where it is certain there is more story to tell. That’s what a good series does in keeping you anxious for what might happen next.
I’m glad the release date for KINGSTON and the Magician’s Lost and Found comes during February’s Black History Month. A perfect title with a strong cast of characters and a mystery sure to please. You won’t want to put the book down. If you do it may magically disappear into another reader’s hands.
BOOK BIRTHDAY: February 16, 2021 PAGE COUNT: 288
FIVE MORE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT: KINGSTON AND THE MAGICIAN”S LOST AND FOUND
- Kingston’s story was conceived by best friends and creative business partners Harold Hayes, Jr. and Craig S. Phillips. They chose the pen name Rucker Moses in tribute to one of the greatest real-life Black magicians—Benjamin Rucker. A very cool tie-in to the series.
- There are many stories of kids trying to find a missing parent but none have the magic and intrigue of this title.
- The adults mostly stay in the background as the mystery unfolds. The kids are the focus and that’s the way it should be.
- What is real and what is magic is a line drawn to perfection. You’ll see other worlds and be drawn in with Kingston and the mystery at hand (Slight spoiler there you won’t understand unless your read the story).
- Middle grade books are meant for ages 8-12, but this is one of those titles that teens and adults would enjoy.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Craig S. Phillips and Harold Hayes Jr. both hail from Atlanta and started telling stories together at the University of Georgia. Together, they’ve been nominated for three Emmys for writing in a children’s program and have written for TV shows based on books by R. L. Stine and Christopher Pike.
They also make virtual reality experiences and own a production company named SunnyBoy Entertainment. In no particular order, their favorite things to write about are ninjas, magic, space, and abandoned amusement parks. When not doing all that, they are hanging with their wonderful families at home in Los Angeles. (WebSite)
Theo Gangi is the author of A New Day in America and the breakout crime thriller Bang Bang. His stories have been anthologized in First Thrills, edited by Lee Child, The Greensboro Review, The Columbia Spectator and the Kratz Sampler. His articles and reviews have appeared in Buzzfeed.com, The San Francisco Chronicle, Mystery Scene Magazine, Inked Magazine and Crimespree Magazine. A graduate of Columbia University’s School of the Arts, he has taught writing at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, is the Director of the Writing Program at St. Francis College and lives in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. (WebSite)
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