Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

I,Q: Independence Hall

I,Q: Independence Hall

Roland Smith
Fiction  Series
For ages 9 to 12
Sleeping Bear Press, 2009   ISBN: 978-1585364688

Quest knows that his life is going change when his mother Blaze marries Roger Tucker. How can it not? After all, Quest will have a new step-father and a step-sister, and he and his new family are going to travel around the country so that Blaze and Roger can perform in their band. The band, Match, is all the rage, and the new blended family are going to be in the limelight. What Blaze does not expect is that he is also going to be catapulted into the world of spies, lies, and subterfuge.

The band tour begins right after the wedding. All goes well at first as the new family begins their drive across the country in the huge tour coach that Roger and Blaze's personal manager arranged for them. Then the coach breaks down and a weathered old roadie called Boone turns up. Boone fixes the coach, and he joins the family on their journey east.

Soon after they arrive in Philadelphia things start to unravel. Roger and Blaze are busy appearing on shows and are not around much, and so Q and his new step-sister Angela end up spending a lot of time together. They discover that Boone is not just a roadie, and that Angela's mother (whom everyone thought was dead) is alive. Not only that, but a group of Israeli Mossad agents appear to be after her, and they are hoping to get to her using Angela as bait.

With Boone's spy buddies to help them, Angela and Q try to unravel the past, and at the same time they try to stay ahead of their enemies.

In this thrilling first title in the I,Q series, Roland Smith - who wrote Elephant Run – tells an exciting story that is packed with surprises and colorful characters. Readers who think that it would be easy to be a spy will discover how wrong they are. They will discover that spies live in a grey world where no one really knows what is going on, and where the righteous do not always win.

Roland Smith paces the story beautifully, and he leaves his readers in a place where they will be eager to find out what happens next.