By Tom Knighton
There’s a slug monster on the loose in Ty Ty, or there was. At least, that’s the premise of the book Loyd & Boyd and the Slug Monster of Webster County by R. Lewis McGhee. Not only does the book take place in our beloved part of the world, but the author knows it well. McGhee is retired from the Lee County School System where he served as a school psychologist.
“It’s great that kids get to read about places they know, like Albany and Ty Ty. They’ve been through these places or heard about them, so now they get to read about them,” McGhee told The Albany Journal recently.
The book follows the adventures of Loyd and Boyd, two twelve year old brothers who find themselves visiting kin folk in the 1930’s rural south. While here, they stumble upon an mythical monster running around in the backwoods of Webster County. The boys hope to capture it and take it to New York City where they’re sure fame and fortune will follow.
“I tried to blend the authenticity of daily life in rural Georgia during the 1930’s with the childhood universal emotions of fun, fear, and disappointment,” McGhee says. “This book is a coming of age story about boys who really will never come of age. Peter Pan, eat your heart out.”
The book is available on Amazon.com in both the hardback and Kindle formats. So far, it’s enjoying five star reviews from readers. However, one question still remained. Why this particular book?
“Characters like the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, The Boxcar Kids, etc. aren’t set in the south and sometimes it’s hard for children living in the southeast to identify with them personally, the setting of the stories, culture, geography, etc.” McGhee said. “I really wanted children living in the southeast to finally be able to identify with the geography, history, culture, and language of the deep south. Besides Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer (from Louisiana) this is the first time a children’s series has been set in Georgia.”
The book is scheduled to be part one of three. McGhee said, “We could have made one long book but we decided to make three small ones so that reluctant readers (especially boys) wouldn’t be overwhelmed by a big book.