The next big thing in children's literature is
A phone call on a sleepy Saturday morning sets in motion changes in nine-year-old Will’s life that will take him across the country and into a world of questions, mystery, and adventure!
For Will, the only constant in his life is change. His dad passed away, just a few years ago, in an accident on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles leaving his Mom to balance life as a corporate attorney as well as a single mother. Will is often caught between nannies and after school activities, while his Mom tries her best to keep it all together but without local family support. It is often difficult if not challenging for her to do so in a meaningful way. This dynamic changes suddenly when Will’s mother is called to settle a large case out of the country, leaving her no choice but to send Will away with the only family members she can trust, her in-laws. With no end for the case in sight, Will finds himself being dropped off in a small suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, called Strongsville.
Strongsville proves to be a challenge for Will as he settles into life with his grandparents. PopPop and Grammie live in a time long since passed. With no internet in the house and an “entertain yourself” type attitude, Will finds himself in a world very different from LA.
As events unfold, Will meets a local boy, Braxton, who becomes his closest friend. Together they stumble upon a box of pictures and mementos which make Will question all that he has been told about his late father. As they piece together clues, Will finds he has more questions than answers. One of the biggest questions is why in a house with no internet does Will’s grandfather have a large shed with a very high tech lock? And why is it off limits to Will? As Will dreams about where his investigation is headed, he is awoken in the middle of the night to find the shed with its doors open, lights on, and strange noises coming from down below. Could this have any connection with the clues Will and Braxton have already uncovered? Who was Will’s dad really?
As a former fourth-grade teacher, I struggled first-hand finding challenging children’s literature that sustains a child’s interest. I, on many occasions, had to sit and really review books before recommending them to my advanced readers because of the maturity needed to comprehend the emotional content of books written at a higher level. With an advanced vocabulary and a lower maturity level, this book is a family and educator friendly choice.
This book is inspired by my family and our frequent trips to Strongsville, Ohio.