The Kids from B.A.D.
Jami van Haaften is a librarian and author of An Index to Selected
Canadian Provincial Government Publications for Librarians, Teachers and
In this, his fifth children’s book, Allen Morgan presents six short detective stories. The author has also previously published a novel for adults and is working on a children’s television show. He is a co-founder of Toronto’s Theatre Passe Munaille and has had four of his five plays produced on stage.
Each story depicts the Barton Avenue Detectives (i.e., the Kids from B.A.D.) solving a crime. The four “detectives” break up a bicycle-thieving ring, catch a corner store robber, witness a house break-in, solve a couple of mysteries at their school, and recover the loot from a bank robbery.
The children, three boys and a girl, are in their early teens and in grade five. They are later joined by a second girl, and they also involve a younger brother, a pet dog, and some other family members in their adventures.
The reader will find it easy to identify with the young detective as the stories deal with everyday occurrences in city life. The detectives first band together to locate a bicycle stolen from one of them. After that experience, other real-life crimes are not hard to find.
As important as the credibility of the plots is the fact that this volume is a group of short stories. Although the book can be read from cover to cover, each story also stands alone, a quick, entertaining mystery to lure the perhaps reluctant reader into turning page after page.