Review - Major and Mynah by Karen Owen
Major and Mynah by Karen Owen - book review
Join SPUD, the Super Perceptive Undercover Detectives, on their first fast-paced detective adventure.
Getting your first hearing aids can be nerve-wracking; especially when you have to wear them to school. When Callie realises her new hearing aids - 'the Slugs' - give her the unique ability to communicate with Bo the Mynah bird, some of her worries are lifted. In fact, having a pair of eyes in the sky might come in handy...
The duo team up with Callie's best friend, Grace, as they set out to catch a local thief who has been causing trouble all over town.
Includes high-speed chases, a very peckish bird and purple POO!
Major and Mynah is a fantastic new book. Callie is a very funny and sweet young heroine, and her detective agency, SPUD, she runs with her friend Grace is very endearing.
Two things really stand out in this short novel. The first is the writing style. Everything is told from Callie's perspective, and it has almost a stream-of-consciousness style to it, as she goes off on tangents or gets distracted. I really loved how well it worked, it wasn't too forced, but it really felt like you were listening to a young, excitable narrator.
The second is the disabled rep. Callie has hearing difficulties, and a big section of the story revolves around her getting hearing aids, which she really doesn't want. I thought this whole element was handled very well, from her refusal to accept that she has a problem (it's just that everyone mumbles), to the overwhelming noise when she first puts them in, to the attitudes of her classmates at school. It's something I don't remember seeing in a middle-grade book before, and I'm sure there'll be children out there who will see themselves in Callie and this might help them to accept the help they need. Equally, there will hopefully be children who recognise friends, family members or classmates in what Callie is going through, and this will hopefully teach empathy and understanding.
It's also an exciting adventure/mystery too. A fast paced, exciting hunt for a bicycle thief around town, with Bo the Mynah bird proving to be an excellent sidekick. Or at least, an interesting sidekick, there are some very entertaining ups and downs with Bo!
The illustrations by Louise Forshaw are really sweet and match the story so well. With the illustrations and straightforward nature of the text, I think Major and Mynah would really suit younger or reluctant readers, while still having a lot to offer for more experienced readers. It would be of particular value to anyone coping with hearing difficulties or who has friends or family with them.
Major and Mynah is fast paced and fun, with beautiful, positive disability representation and a very sweet young heroine.
A very enjoyable five moons
Major and Mynah is written by Karen Owen and illustrated by Louise Forshaw. It is published by Firefly Press and is available now! I was given an e-proof in return for an honest review through Netgalley.