Readers have asked me for more adventurous books that boys would like, and I think the Lost Art Mysteries series by Deron R. Hicks fits the bill. Boys and girls alike will be pulled into these fast-paced novels that read like a spy thrillers. They’ll be so engaged they won’t mind learning a little bit about art along the way. Maybe they’ll even ask to visit an art museum after reading these! (Let me know if they do!)
The series consists of The Van Gogh Deception and The Rembrandt Conspiracy with a third book, The Crown Heist, due to release November 2021. My thirteen-year-old son and I both devoured these. He couldn’t put down the first book and finished the it in an afternoon.
The Story of The Van Gogh Deception
The boy doesn’t remember who he is or why he was sitting on the bench in the National Gallery. The authorities place him in foster care with a mom and her daughter, Camille. Later, hoping to jog his memory and find his family, they bring him back to the museum. Instead, they trigger a wild set of events that separate the two kids from the mom and put them directly in the path of dangerous criminals. One thing is clear: someone will stop at nothing to recover the boy and the clue he may possess.
What I loved
- Clear good and evil–Even with the shifting viewpoints the story offers, it’s always clear who is on the right side. The kids go to great lengths to protect the paintings and find Art’s dad.
- Educational–I love any book that covertly teaches something. Your kids will learn about art, art history, and how works of art are verified as authentic.
- Characters–Both of the main characters are sweet kids, though they do manage to get into some trouble. The boy, Art, is smart and kind and Camille is spunky and loyal.
Parents should know
- Peril–There’s quite a bit of peril in The Van Gogh Deception (The Rembrandt Conspiracy is very mild comparatively) from poison darts to a car crash. At one point, the boy, who has amnesia, believes his father has been killed by the bad guys. There are many threats of harm toward the kids, but they are always fine throughout, though the same cannot be said for the villains.
I’d recommend this series for adventure loving kids ages ten and older, especially if they love art.