Any other eleven-year-old kid might flip past a hand-drawn picture if they found it in a textbook. But not Drew Daley. When he discovers a detailed drawing tucked away in his science book, his entire life changes. He finds himself seeing everything differently and caring about things in a way he never did before. Drew becomes determined to find the artist, but with the list of names inside the front cover of his book as his only clue, the search isn’t an easy one. He encounters overbearing teachers and bullies, broken windows and promises, and even death and destruction.
On top of all that, Drew has to navigate through fifth grade, where he’s learning some important life lessons: Lies can be more common than the truth, people aren’t always who they seem, and the most complex problems rarely have “right” answers. Through it all, the drawing gives Drew peace of mind and direction. But how far is he willing to go to uncover the identity of the artist?
|Publisher:||Light Messages Publishing, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.59(d)|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
About the Author
Josh Malacki lives in Pittsburgh, PA, and received a BA in English from Robert Morris University. He is left-handed. His hair is brown. He is terrible at writing third-person author bios, as you likely figured out, or at least suspected, when he told you he was left-handed, or certainly no later than when he informed you of his hair color (brown). Nevertheless, he promises you that Detours and Designs is a lot better than this bio. Although Josh's poetry and short fiction have appeared in a handful of publications, he is best known for his fifth-grade D.A.R.E. essay, which won first place in a landslide. Detours and Designs is his first novel.
Table of Contents
Finding Answers in New Places
Nobody Gets Hurt
Tears in a Storm
A Lie Before Breakfast
All Over the Place
Anything to Win
The Big Picture
Matt Fazio Josh Malacki
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite “The world would be in trouble if it needed to be saved by an 11-year-old kid.” That is what eleven-year-old Drew Daley thinks, but he is about to be tested more than he ever could have imagined. Lured by a mysterious drawing tucked into his science book, Drew finds himself going in a direction he never dreamed possible. While he has to meet the demands of fifth grade, he feels compelled to uncover the identity of the artist, because the drawing seems to inspire in him something that calls him beyond his petty world. But how does he locate the artist when the only clues he gets are names inside the front cover of his book? In Detours and Designs, authors Matt Fazio and Josh Malacki create a story that brings to life the inquisitiveness of a young mind, the courage of innocence, and an adventure that will delight young readers. The story is beautiful and the character of Drew is handled with skill and intelligence. The reader will immediately notice Drew’s curiosity from the very beginning of the story. There is a certain naivety about him which makes him think that life is easy, but his journey in the search of the artist and the looming threat to the world as he once knew it will awaken in him the desire to test things, to sift information in order to distinguish truth from falsehood. The characters are very believable and real, and it's easy to like Drew. Detours and Designs is a title that suggests a complex story and the plot happens to be filled with twists and detours readers won’t see coming. Matt Fazio and Josh Malacki have written a book that young readers will adore, with writing that is atmospheric and an enticing narrative voice.
Reviewed by Stephen Fisher for Readers' Favorite Detours and Designs by Matt Fazio and Josh Malacki is a flawlessly written story about Drew Daley. Drew is an eleven-year-old fifth grader at Emerson Elementary School. The school doesn't have school buses, and Drew and his close friends, Tommy and Jeff, finally get to walk to and from school. Mr. Sawyer, their Social Studies teacher, wants them to give a presentation about a person that they greatly admire; a role model that really inspires them. Someone other than a parent or relative. While most of the kids choose sports heroes, Drew decides to tell about a mysterious jogger who sees a beautiful hanging flower planter that has fallen due to a high wind and he stops and fixes it, for no other reason than to do a good deed. Then Drew gets his science book and sees that he is the sixth owner of the book. When he finds a drawn picture of the ocean bottom, he falls in love with the picture and makes it his mission to find out who the artist is from amongst the five previous owners. The team of Fazio and Malacki do an outstanding job of creating the background of this quaint small town in Pennsylvania. The diverse personalities created by the authors are real and believable. They are able to capture all of the emotions and peer pressure that preteens go through on a daily basis - their video games, getting their first cell phone, or just hanging out at the local store. When Drew sees the first person listed in his book at lunch, he walks up and introduces himself to the most popular girl in the sixth grade, who denies drawing the picture but remembers the drawing well. His friends cannot believe his bravery. Detours and Designs moved along at a great pace, with never a dull moment. But in everything that Drew goes through, he is most conscious of his choices, and always wants to do the right thing. This story was so well written that it was tough to put down. Everything was so vividly described that I felt like I was right there beside Drew and his friends, who don't always make the right decisions. They learn many tough lessons about the consequences of telling lies, cheating, and errors in judgement. By the story's end, I was totally engrossed. Hook, line, and sinker. What a great adventure! Bravo!
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite Detours and Designs is a coming of age novel for preteens and young adults written by Matt Fazio and Josh Malacki. Drew Daley had a lot going on in his mind; something that frequently drew the ire of his teachers and was a source of much amusement for his classmates. He just couldn’t help it. The fifth-grader had an active imagination and a strong drive to find answers to the puzzles he found irresistible. Currently, his mind was wrestling with his science textbook -- not the book itself, but a finely drawn sketch of the beach that someone had doodled on the book. That picture had the power to instantly transport him to those sandy shores, complete with the sun’s golden warmth and the crashing din of the waves. His ever-investigative mind began to study the names of the kids who had used the book before him. One of them, he mused, would have to be the mysterious artist. He knew he had to solve this mystery, and he was absolutely certain that he would. Matt Fazio and Josh Malacki’s coming of age novel for preteens and young adults, Detours and Designs, is an exceptionally well-written novel about the passage from childhood and its certainties into the uncertain and often perilous terrain of becoming a young adult. I loved the adventures Drew and his friends go on at every possible opportunity, and had a grand time following them as they seek the legendary tree house. I also wondered how Drew would fare as he and some of his friends seemed to be growing in different directions. Drew comes through in awesome and thoughtful fashion just about every time, and it’s quite marvelous to see him coming of age. I’d be delighted to see a sequel to this story. Detours and Designs is most highly recommended.
DETOURS AND DESIGNS tells the story of an 11-year-old boy navigating his way through fifth-grade in the town of Emerson. Drew, the protagonist, finds something interesting in his science book that inspires him to go on a mission to find the source. The mission takes Drew and his friends, Jeff and Tommy, through a myriad of typical tough scenarios for 11-year-olds, including bullies, test taking integrity, honesty in many forms, and even talking to the most popular girl in school. Along the way to the mission’s close, Drew forms important thoughts about friendship, people’s feelings around him, and who people truly are on the inside as opposed to how they appear on the outside. Matt Fazio’s and Josh Malacki’s writing in DETOURS AND DESIGNS is impressive on many fronts. Much of the story is told through dialogue between 11-year-olds and is spot on for children of this age. Even the thoughts of the characters in the book really allow the reader to sink into the child’s mind putting forth the thoughts. The authors manage to introduce and then support many very positive and meaningful morals as the story unfolds. Although the middle grade reader may not realize it is happening due to the primary goings on in the story at the time, virtually every middle grade reader will come out of this reading experience with bolstered up positive thoughts on honesty, evaluating people, scholastic integrity, importance of parents, theft, and being true to one’s self. Although the book may appeal to some middle grade female readers, I feel certain boys ages 8 to 12 will enjoy and get the most from this work.
Great read. I wish this book existed when I was in 5th grade. It hit on a ton of emotions that I remember feeling when I was a kid. I loved it. I never thought I would be so interested in a kid's fifth grade school year... I hope there is more in store for Drew after this...
very good middle grade book