US Flying Boats & Spies: A Nick Grant Adventure (Nick Grant Adventures Book 1)

Jamie Dodson

MYSTERY/YOUNG ADULT: Nick Grant is 16 but looks older; he longs for adventure and hopes to be a pilot and an engineer someday. This story is set in the spring and summer of 1935. The Depression is ongoing, and Nick’s father is in Oregon for work. Without additional income, the Grants may lose their home. After school, Nick works for a man named Mac at the Alameda Airfield in California, maintaining and repairing planes. As the story opens, Nick meets Charles and Anne Lindbergh, and overhears a conversation about PanAm hiring in San Francisco. Meanwhile, Anne gives Nick a leather map case and instructs him to deliver it to a Mr. Grooch at Pier 22 in San Francisco--to tell no one of this errand, to keep the case closed, and to only give it to Grooch! Nick accepts the ‘mission’ and leaves school the next day to ensure the case is delivered, and to try to get hired to help his parents financially. 

There are outside forces nearby that Nick is unaware of; thus, several challenges occur within the story, forcing Nick to make some tough choices. His growth arc is evident, yet the story begins with him already as a strong protagonist. This fictional story is grounded in historical fact, which makes the story extra compelling! Nick’s motives are established at the start, and his character is extremely likable. The story builds steadily, with minimal slower sections. The dialogue sounds authentic and believable. 

Andy Valvur does a fine job giving each character a distinct voice and keeping them consistent throughout. For most of the story, the audiobook recording quality is excellent; however, Chapter 21 has multiple skips in it between the 1:20 - 5:00-minute mark, which is somewhat disappointing. Other than those errors, this compelling story is a keeper!

Carey Sullivan