The Psi Squad: Book One
By Mark Feggeler
Publisher: Mark Feggeler
Published: Jan. 22, 2013
Age Level: 8 - 18 | Grade Level: 3 - 12
J.B. has been bothered by colorful balls of light floating around him as far back as he can recall. Doctors blame it on strained rods and cones in his eyes, but he's never believed that diagnosis. As if seeing things weren't troublesome enough, now he's the new kid in town starting middle school with no friends. His grandparents aren't exactly excited he's moved in with them, either. When he spots a fellow student who appears to interact with one of the glowing spots only he is supposed to be able to see, J.B. decides he must befriend the strange girl and investigate the peculiar coincidence. But some things are easier said than done...
J.B. knows the coloured balls of lights he sees aren’t the result of strained rods and cones as the doctors claim, but he doesn’t know what causes them either. What he does know is that no one else sees them. When he notices a girl talking to one, he decides he has to get to know her.
J.B. has had a hard time being the new kid in town. He’s living with his grandparents who aren’t exactly excited to have him staying with them and he seems to practically invisible at his new school. He does finally make friends with Rhea who senses feelings from these balls of light and with William who most people call Mole and hardly anyone notices.
Between the three of them and one of the balls of light, they resolve the mystery of the 30 year old disappearance of one of the principals of the school.
I liked how each of the three of these kids had a distinctly different and unusual skill and without one of them, the mystery couldn’t have been solved. It took teamwork to get the job done. William nicknames them the PSI Squad and is the positive one of the three. Rhea doesn’t want to have anything to do with the other two.
William was the most likeable because of his positive attitude even when things were going against him. Rhea was hard to like because she seemed rather negative and was rather touchy when the other two would say that she could hear the light spots talking to her as opposed to being able to sense their feelings. J.B. was somewhat muddled and struggling with all that was going on in his life.
It was good to see each of them mature through the book as they accomplished the task of solving the mystery even though it wasn’t something they had set out to do as a goal. Solving it and getting the recognition for it by itself seemed to increase their self-esteem and self-confidence. Hopefully more such adventures will bring about greater growth in their self-confidence.
I thought this was a fun book for middle-graders and middle-school. I gave it 4 stars out of 5.
Thank you to the author for providing this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.
About the Author:
Mark lives in Pinehurst, NC, with his wife and three children.