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The Amazing Adventures of Aaron Broom

Review

The Amazing Adventures of Aaron Broom

“Connecting with Augie was a big plus for me, not only was he going to detectify on Mr. Pringle, but his life was pretty much like mine, only difference his mother was dead and his father wasn’t in jail.”

Twelve-year-old Aaron Broom enters the mystery-solving scene with a bang like only a kid can. It all starts with Aaron waiting in his dad’s car, keeping an eye out for the repleviner (repo man, in modern language), while his pop goes into J&J Jewelers for a 3:00 appointment. The elder Broom sells Bulova watches, just not very many these days due to tight money because of the Depression. Broom had it made until the banks closed, and then his family lost every dollar they had except the few that were in their pockets. Making matters even worse, Mrs. Broom took ill and now is stuck in the sanitarium. So Mr. Broom does what he can, which is the reason he was at J&J. But things go horribly wrong that day, and a clerk is shot. The cops come blazing in and take Aaron’s dad out in handcuffs. Meanwhile, the kid is left in the stifling car, watching it all and wondering what to do next.

"THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF AARON BROOM is both a sweet read and a compelling mystery.... This is great storytelling in a fresh, unique voice."

Fortunately, Aaron picked up some useful survival skills over the months that his family has had to dodge the crafty repleviner, persistent bill collectors and nagging landlords. The boy is mature beyond his years and knows when a thing simply doesn’t feel right. He also knows that he can’t handle this situation by himself. Aaron may be resourceful, but he’s still a child. So he calls on friends, longtime ones he’s held onto and new ones he figures will be helpful --- like Augie, a St. Louis Post Dispatch hawker. Aaron tells everyone the same thing: His dad didn’t shoot that jewelry shop clerk. No way. He didn’t even have a gun.

Okay, so Aaron finally has managed to convince several misfits and street hounds of what really happened. Now, though, how does he get his pop out of jail? Asking questions of everyone he can think of and poking his nose into all sorts of places for the answers really stirs up a hornet’s nest, as the saying goes. There are folks around who want him to mind his own business. But what self-respecting gumshoe --- even a 12-year-old one --- would be scared off by threats? Certainly not Aaron Broom. The kid has spunk. Spunk and some valuable detectifying skills. How he unravels the clues in order to convince the authorities, well, amazes everyone. Crooks included.

THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF AARON BROOM is both a sweet read and a compelling mystery. Just because the sleuth is only 12 doesn’t mean that the solution to whodunit is simple. In this case, it’s anything but. Well, let’s be clear, too: the young detectifyer is almost 13. And for his birthday, what Aaron wants most is to clear his dad, and then get his mom home from the sanitarium. It’s a tall order for one so young. But this kid can handle it. This is great storytelling in a fresh, unique voice.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on July 13, 2018

The Amazing Adventures of Aaron Broom
by A. E. Hotchner

  • Publication Date: July 10, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Nan A. Talese
  • ISBN-10: 0385543581
  • ISBN-13: 9780385543583