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Investigation Boom, Vol. 1
Delonte’ Harris. 3 Kings & Co. Studios, $19.99 paper (232p) ISBN 978-1-08-788014-3
Harris’s energetically paced novel features a compelling protagonist in Dante’ “Boom” Boomer, 11, an aspiring private investigator learning to balance schoolwork with mystery while confronting bullies, hanging out with his best friends—know-it-all Trinity Philpot, who has dark skin, and white hypochondriac Ziggy McGuire—and seeking validation from his busy but supportive parents. When Poppy Springs Elementary’s raffle box and prize money go missing, Boom must channel his inner Fireye Private Eye, his favorite comic book character, to solve the crime. In Boom, Harris subtly critiques the way Black boys can be perceived as troublemakers while deftly capturing the fifth grader’s eager yet sensitive perspective. Especially well-drawn is Boom’s middle child syndrome, which pits him against brothers M.J., a 14-year-old athlete and star prankster, and Rocco, an adorable, mischievous eight-year-old. Though Boom initially pursues the raffle box to appease the school’s administration, he soon discovers that there’s more to most individuals than meets the eye. Bright, full-color cartoon-style illustrations bring the world to life. While the tone is inconsistent, the tale is accessible, and the makings of a promising middle-school sleuth are certainly here. Ages 8–12. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 10/09/2020

Release date 06/01/2020

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