Review of The Season of Styx Malone

The Season of Styx Malone
by Kekla Magoon
Intermediate, Middle School    Lamb/Random    298 pp.    g
10/18    978-1-5247-1595-3    $16.99
Library ed.  978-1-5247-1596-0    $19.99
e-book ed.  978-1-5247-1597-7    $10.99

It’s summertime, and the living is easy. At least it was before narrator Caleb and his older brother Bobby Gene make a bad deal with their nemesis, Cory, leading to four long weeks of morning chores as punishment. It looks like things are going nowhere fast — until they meet Styx Malone, a mysterious, lanky, smooth-talking teenager who adds excitement to the brothers’ otherwise humdrum summer. Living in the small town of Sutton, Indiana, Caleb and Bobby Gene are confined to play within the woods in their backyard. Caleb dreams of a chance to see the world — at least to make it to the big city of Indianapolis—and doesn’t understand his father’s stubborn insistence that they don’t need to travel anywhere outside of Sutton. (Their father’s fears for their safety, as African American young men, is mostly subtext.) Caleb doesn’t want the ordinary life that his family lives, and Styx becomes the magic ticket to escape. The boys embark on a journey that encompasses rule-breaking, laugh-out-loud humor, and nail-biting adventure, while exploring the importance of family ties and deep friendships. Spending time with Styx, Caleb, and Bobby Gene is an experience no reader will soon forget.

From the September/October 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Monique Harris

Monique Harris is a public educator, reading specialist and independent educational consultant. She holds a Master of Science degree in Education from Simmons University. She resides in Boston, Massachusetts.

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