Every now and then a book comes along that is just so purely delightful that you can’t help but grin while you read it. The Adventures of Mahalia and Malcolm: The Robinsons, by Terance Shipman and Prudence Williams, is 100% one of those books. The book follows two middle-grader siblings, Mahalia and Malcolm, and their large, loving and wonderful African-American superhero family. Just when the Robinson family is united to celebrate the homecoming of Uncle Junior, the night takes a turn that changes Malcolm and Mahalia’s lives forever. The family is attacked by strangers with drugged bullet darts. An evil guy dressed in a red hoodie orders his goons to injure their grandmother Olivia and her two sons. They kidnap their grandfather Marshall and take him away to an unknown location. Malcolm and Mahalia must use their superpowers to help protect their family. Along with their grandmother Olivia, they are set off on a daring quest to bring back Grandpa Marshal. The characters in this book are smart and naturally witty, the story is full of great twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.
In the world of fantasy where animals speak and magic is real, it can sometimes be hard to find main characters that aren’t white. Luckily, there are middle-grade books like The Adventures of Mahalia and Malcolm: The Robinsons coming out that both feature characters of color and are written by people of color.
Filled with adventure, joy, and wonder, The Adventures of Mahalia and Malcolm: The Robinsons is the perfect beginning to a fun middle-grade book about the bonds of love and family. Anyone looking for a little magic in their lives will find it here.
This article first appeared on Epistle News and has been reproduced with consent.