I Like Your Shoes, by R. Stim | Dedicated Review
Written by R. Stim
Paperback: 308 pages
Age Range: 15+
Publisher: Richard Stim (September 2014)
What to Expect: Mystery, Suspense, Reality Sports Competition, Houseboats, Dogs, Pop Culture and Contemporary References
Mary Frances “Frankie” Jackson is not your average 12-year-old. She’s spending the summer in Sausalito on a houseboat with her Aunt Roxy, surrounded by an eccentric group of nautical neighbors. Frankie’s gotten into some trouble in New Jersey and a summer getaway, marking a fresh start, is just what she needs. Frankie’s quiet summer plans come to a screeching halt when she meets Stacy, a 15-year-old girl who, much like Frankie, courts adventure and trouble. In R. Stim’s I Like Your Shoes, the third book in the Frankie Jackson mystery series, the reader is invited on a wild journey with Frankie, Stacy, and the entire houseboat community.
Stacy and Frankie’s relationship begins when Stacy enigmatically enters the dock to solicit donations and perhaps some attention as well. Frankie and her loyal canine companion, Butch, are immediately suspicious and when valuables go missing, Frankie trusts her instincts and confronts Stacy. Though both are wary of each other, they find they have a lot in common. Stacy and Frankie’s dubious histories and complicated lives are prominent themes in the story, but the book’s main event revolves around an ESPN-sponsored reality show competition featuring a girl’s youth pitching contest. Stacy and Frankie are both talented pitchers and this storyline highlights how greed and wrong intentions can cloud the innocence of youth.
Frankie’s summer is full of mysterious events: a suspicious boat fire, a phone theft and a series of impersonations. Each character becomes entangled in some way, including Flip, a friend with many talents and idiosyncrasies due to his Asperger Syndrome diagnosis. Stim’s portrayal of Flip sheds a realistic and positive light on the Asperger’s diagnosis, which can often be misunderstood.
Though there are many storylines simultaneously filling the pages of I Like Your Shoes, the underlying and most heartwarming theme is about relationships. The houseboat community is comprised of various motley characters that seemingly have nothing in common with each other. Despite this, their unity and desire to look out for each other is a beautiful reminder that caring people are what make a community. Though the narrative of I Like Your Shoes can sometimes seem choppy and laden with pop culture references, it’s an appropriate voice from the perspective of a 12-year-old who has experienced, and continues to experience, mature life situations. I Like Your Shoes is a suspenseful read that will satisfy audiences interested in contemporary mysteries featuring dynamic characters and inventive plots.
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. The author of “I Like Your Shoes,” R. Stim, sponsored this non-biased review. Learn more about getting a book review …