Book Review of Mickie McKinney: Boy Detective, The Case of the Absent Answers
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The Children’s Book Review
Mickie McKinney: Boy Detective, The Case of the Absent Answers
Written by R.L. Fink
Illustrated by Antony Wooten
Ages 8-12 | 82 Pages
Publisher: Faux Fiction Audio | ISBN-13: 9798986084114
What to Expect: Friendship, empathy, problem-solving, school, bullying
In a gentle parody of the noir thriller genre for adults, Mickie McKinney: Boy Detective, The Case of the Absent Answers explores common childhood issues like bullying, trouble at school, and friendship conflicts with tongue-in-cheek humor.
A good detective never jumps to conclusions. So, when the new student at Maple Ridge Middle School is accused of stealing some test answers, Mickie knows that what is needed is some good, honest, evidence-based detective work to clear her name. Mickie is convinced that the real culprit is the school bully, Tommy. Mickie has a lot on his plate, though—he’s still grieving the loss of his dad (also a law enforcer), and his attempts to gather evidence are putting him in the line of fire with both his teachers and Tommy himself. Can Mickie find a way to prove his new friend innocent without getting deeper into trouble himself?
Fink’s writing style is lively, and Mickie is a relatable character whose daydreams and challenges are sure to be familiar to many middle-school readers. While the exciting detective-fiction storyline and humor may disguise it, the story also teaches important lessons about empathy, judging others, and finding positive solutions to problems.
Overall, Mickie McKinney: Boy Detective, The Case of the Absent Answers is both instructive and very fun to read.
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About the Author
R.L. Fink, (otherwise known as Ruby Lucille Fink), grew up in Topanga, California as the eldest of three. An avid listener, then reader, of detective stories, Fink spent her evenings devouring the pages of Nancy Drew, Trixie Beldon, Hardy Boys, Encyclopedia Brown, and Sammy Keyes, with a mix of Harry Potter, Redwall, Artemis Fowl, Chronicles of Narnia and Eragon thrown in for variety.
The only thing better than writing novels would have been to become a character in one. But since that never happened, R.L. Fink chose to write a series based on a middle school experience that never happened, but would’ve been fun if it did, with a bizarre group of friends that never existed, but would’ve been fun if they had.
For more information, visit https://www.fauxfictionaudio.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/Ruby-Fink-Author-111069001566332.
About the Illustrator
Antony Wooten was a primary school teacher for 18 years. He taught in a number of different schools, including several in London and one in Canada. He was born in Berkshire in 1971 and now lives in a tiny North Yorkshire village with his wife, Louise.
He grew up on a literary diet of fantasy fiction including The Lord of the Rings, Elidor (by Alan Garner) and The Dark Is Rising (by Susan Cooper). He spent countless hours lost in their magical worlds. As an adult, he reads far less fiction than non-fiction. He has developed fascinations for science, history, politics, and ethics, all of which are things that would have bored him senseless in his earlier days, but which give him hours of entertainment —yes, actual entertainment!—these days.
For more information, visit https://antonywootten.co.uk/about.html.
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