It’s an emotional return to the Bronx for 12-year-old Kingston after a four-year absence following the loss of his father. Kingston’s mother is determined to turn the family’s failing business (a magic shop with next to no customers) into a smart café. But Kingston hasn’t forgotten that his father, a stage magician, vanished in front of a live audience, even if everyone else has. Determined to find out what really happened, Kingston, his cousin Veronica, and old friend Too Tall, head to the theatre, abandoned since the disappearance, to see what they can find out. It turns out there are a few secrets to be found in the theatre and Kingston and his friends are not the only ones set on finding them.
This is a fun, fast-paced story with great characters, a dangerous antagonist and an imaginative premise. What is it about magic shows that is so fascinating? I’ve loved them since childhood, and even knowing the secret behind many of the tricks, does not detract one whit of their romantic glamour for me. So show me a book (such as Small Change for Stuart by Lissa Evans) or a movie (The Prestige) where the magician or his show or props plays a key role, and I am there to revel in it.
Kingston is a worthy addition to this sub-genre (can I call it that?). It has a mystery, a disappearance, rival magicians, magic, and an invisible hand (because it is mostly stuck in another world/dimension). The characters are well-drawn, and I loved Kingston’s eccentric family. It is an exciting, fun read, and I think kids will really enjoy it.
Apparently, the book is written by three people, so I was impressed how smoothly it flowed, given that. I was slightly disappointed with the resolution, but it is obviously set up for a sequel.
TOTP and I award Kingston and the Magician’s Lost and Found Eight out of Ten Diamonds.