During my respite from The Artful Blogger, I flew to Florida for my aunt’s memorial service (see previous post). While on the plane I had a chance to catch up on reading books of people I know, including A Miller Cousin Mystery by David, Daniel, Joshua, Casey and Ryan Miller, as told to Beth Miller.
Beth is my first cousin and a Jungian psychologist. Her previous books have been of a psychological nature, but this is her first stab at the young adult market, and the first book written with her five grandsons who live on two continents. And can she/they write fiction! I couldn’t wait for the flight attendant to take my drink order.
It took six years to write, according to the authors in the forward: “Over the years we wrote sitting on the floor, riding in a van, crossing waters in a ferry, over Skype and emails and huddled together on many, many sofas.”
Using this multigenerational collaborative method, the Millers were able to create a tale that appeals to the interests of a young audience, but with the sophistication and maturity of a person who has lived a life and gained some wisdom along the way.
The young characters possess intriguing super powers and magical birthstones, and the tale is cleverly told so that prequels and sequels may follow. Original illustrations were created by the boys’ maternal grandfather, and the paternal grandfather photographed the authors for the back cover.
The book is filled with creatures young boys are enchanted with, such as dinosaurs, and an ancient mummy who kidnaps the boys’ grandmother. They embark on an action-packed journey to rescue her. If you are a fan of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, you will find much to like here.