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Reviewed by Melissa Tanaka for Readers' Favorite
The King of Mischief by Devonia Reed is a delightful children’s book that tells the story of how just a little bit of love and support can make a huge difference. A nine-year-old boy named Maurice Wallace is the resident troublemaker in Ms. Henderson’s class, stealing test answers, turning in other kids' homework as his own, and pushing his work onto others during group projects. Maurice finds himself in big trouble when he and his friend Ryker pull the fire alarm and get caught by the principal. During his suspension, Maurice meets a man named Coach Wilborn and becomes a part of the basketball team. With the support of his coach and his team, Maurice begins to work harder, improving his grades, and becoming all around happier as he finds a new family of his own in his basketball team.
I simply cannot find enough good words to say about this book! With engaging illustrations and a heartwarming message, The King of Mischief is a reminder to children and parents alike about the importance of believing in oneself. In addition, Reed includes discussion questions to open and engage readers, whether it is in an educational setting or simply just for reading at home. Maurice blossoms under the attention of Coach Wilborn, who tells him, “I’ll bet you have some gifts that you don’t know you have. We still have time to figure it out.” It is the perfect message for any child who ever worries about their capabilities and reminds us that we still have strengths left to be discovered, no matter how old we may be.