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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
“The world would be in trouble if it needed to be saved by an 11-year-old kid.” That is what eleven-year-old Drew Daley thinks, but he is about to be tested more than he ever could have imagined. Lured by a mysterious drawing tucked into his science book, Drew finds himself going in a direction he never dreamed possible. While he has to meet the demands of fifth grade, he feels compelled to uncover the identity of the artist, because the drawing seems to inspire in him something that calls him beyond his petty world. But how does he locate the artist when the only clues he gets are names inside the front cover of his book? In Detours and Designs, authors Matt Fazio and Josh Malacki create a story that brings to life the inquisitiveness of a young mind, the courage of innocence, and an adventure that will delight young readers.
The story is beautiful and the character of Drew is handled with skill and intelligence. The reader will immediately notice Drew’s curiosity from the very beginning of the story. There is a certain naivety about him which makes him think that life is easy, but his journey in the search of the artist and the looming threat to the world as he once knew it will awaken in him the desire to test things, to sift information in order to distinguish truth from falsehood. The characters are very believable and real, and it's easy to like Drew. Detours and Designs is a title that suggests a complex story and the plot happens to be filled with twists and detours readers won’t see coming. Matt Fazio and Josh Malacki have written a book that young readers will adore, with writing that is atmospheric and an enticing narrative voice.