Bethany House Publishers published Lost Beneath Manhattan, by Sigmund Brouwer, in 2004. It is 143 pages and is one of the books in the Accidental Detective Series. The age group for this Christian fiction book is boys, ages 9-15.
Ricky and his class are going on a field trip to New York City. To get part of the funding from a benefactor they will have to take Ricky’s little brother Joel along. This would be a trip they will never forget. When they are at the Museum of Modern Art Joel runs away and now Ricky has to find him. After Ricky prays for Joel’s safety and for his ability to find him, he realizes that to find Joel he will have to think from Joel’s perspective. Ricky is not too worried about Joel’s safety until he learns that a street person named, Mean Gene Delaney may have him. Mean Gene uses kids to do his begging for him. With the help of other people who live on the street, like crazy Lyle and the preacher at a local mission, Ricky and his friends are able to find Joel, hidden money and new friends. Ricky and his friends learn from their adventures that not all people who live on the street are bad people.
The author, Sigmund Brouwer, who has won many awards, has written this book with easily recognized characters and a clear plot line.
The main issue that I saw in the book was, the strong need to help the weak. In this story the weak are those that are homeless and are unable to help themselves. This was shown when Ricky asks Brother Philip about why people suffer if God can help. Brother Philip said that people have the choice; they can live with evil or with God. Other people can’t help their suffering, because they are mentally ill and those are some of the people that we can help.
The part of this book that I liked the best was how much Ricky and his friends care about Joel. The other favorite part was how Ricky always prays strength for Joel when Joel is lost.
This paperback book has small print, but it does not harm the story, it made me want to keep reading. I would definitely recommend this story to read, to help us remember to help those who cannot help themselves.