Meivy Diaz is ready to be your tween’s new friend. She’s a spunky middle school student in fictional Bayberry, Conn. who stars in the recently launched The Tale of the Locker Thief .
Taking on timely cultural and political topics through a diverse set of characters, this is the first book in a new mystery series by Susan LeRoy, a Yonkers native.
LeRoy, a college teacher who began as a professional writer primarily in the corporate setting, knew from a young age that she wanted to write. “I would write sketches and act them out, playing all the parts, and I read all the time!” she said.
“Books and writing were my escapes from the chaos in my childhood home.”
While teaching English as a second language in Danbury, the idea of Meivy was born. LeRoy recalled how in one particular class a student told of crossing the border into the U.S. illegally and how she became so overcome with emotion she could barely speak.
“I was so moved,” said LeRoy, a longtime Fairfield County resident. “I decided then and there to create a character that would honor those brave young women who wanted nothing more than to create a better life for themselves.”
LeRoy, who recently moved to Maryland, personally loves mysteries and believes they are a great way to stimulate critical thinking in students. And she has a particular soft spot for those between 9 and 13.
“I loved working with middle schoolers,” she said. “They are a fun bunch and those are tremendously formative years.”
It makes perfect sense that LeRoy’s favorite literary heroine is Francie Nolan from the classic A Tree Grows in Brooklyn , whom we first meet when she is 11 years old.
“I think that’s one of the best things about literature,” said LeRoy, “Every now and again we get lucky enough to find a piece of ourselves in something we read.”
The Tale of the Locker Thief is available at most retail outlets, and the second in the series, The Demon on Dark Entry Road , will be available in early 2018. For more information, visit mdiazmysteries.com .
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