When I was a kid growing up in LA, video games, home computers, and a myriad of electronic toys were available. Thus, we sought entertainment from books. I came across a newly-released middle grade novel that is sure to get the attention of kids at that level: Stryker, by M. M. Wheezee. As an added plus, the book is in e-book format; thus, it can be loaded onto your kid’s digital device.
Harold Stryker prefers to go by his surname and has secretly lived alone with his dog Mikey for three years after his mom died—well, he’s not completely self-sufficient; the blond preteen is checked up on regularly by his “Aunt” Hillary, a no-nonsense African American woman who promised his mom that she would watch over him. After Stryker discovers a tunnel with train tracks going who-knows-where, he embarks on an adventure that takes him and his eclectic group of friends to various locations including the La Brea Tar Pits and a mushroom factory in a ghost town where Thai girls are kept as slave laborers. His friends include a Chinese girl baseball star, Tien Tang (AKA TNT) and an outspoken Jewish girl Bella Lunt (AKA Blunt).
Stryker and the girls traverse the underground tunnel on a railroad handcar that master inventor Stryker supercharged with two sets of bicycle pedals. The novel is an entertaining, funny, scary adventure story for middle graders, filled with zany, unforgettable characters. And a big plus: there is not a speck of violence or other negative features that are so common in today’s “entertainment” for preteens and teens.
The e-book is reasonably priced and available for download at Amazon.com, Smashwords, iBookstore, and Barnes & Noble. You can read an excerpt at mmwheezee.com.