New Visions Award winner

Montgomery and
the Case of the
Golden Key
more productive

It's 2008, and ten-year-old Montgomery "Monty" Carver is out to find the origin of a golden key found in his South Side Chicago community--which may or may not host the next Olympic games, or supply the next President of the United States, or...have a potential ghost hanging around.

Kristin Sorra (Illustrator)
Montgomery Book Cover

“I felt like it was important to expand the adventure/mystery
genre to include more books with Black boys like my son as protagonists,” says author
–Tracy Occomy Crowder

Lee and Low New Visions Award
Monty has a
Mystery to Solve.

In 2008 Chicago, in the Southside community of Washington Park, Montgomery "Monty" Carver has planned the best summer ever! Unfortunately, things aren't going as planned. Monty is struggling to prove to his parents that he's old enough to be without adult supervision--especially after a very embarrassing incident with a metal detector. Man!

So when Monty finds a golden key in Old Lady Jenkins's sunflowers, he decides he's going to unravel the key's mystery all by himself, thank you very much--not with friends, and definitely not with his parents. Besides, he's ten years old now, and he's mastered the perfectly round 'fro! (It takes a protractor, you see.)

Soon Monty's hunt to determine the origin of the key leads him to discover the rich history--like famous Black jockeys!--of his Chicago community, which has been speculating its future since one of their residents, Barack Obama, is running for president and the Olympics might come to town in 2016.

On top of all that speculating, there are rumors going around that a ghost is hanging out behind their apartment building, and that Monty's elementary school may have to close.

So much to solve! Should the Olympics come? Will his community change if his school closes? Is there really a ghost? And where, oh where, did the key come from anyway? Monty is determined to find out.

Monte Key
Photo by Ian Crowder


About the Author

Tracy Occomy Crowder has been a mystery lover from an early age. Her writing aims to invite readers into the funny little occurrences and tensions of the everyday lives of her characters while bringing them along a journey into different periods of Black history and aspects of Black Culture and Enlightenment.

More About the Author

Is the Name of the Game.Chapters

At nine years old going on ten
(which his mother always forgets),
excitement is all Montgomery “Monty”
Carver wants in the summer of 2008.
And it looks like he
just might get his wish.


The Tournament

They say Monty’s "Got Game" and he'll probably win the FX summer tennis tournament, and Monty agrees.

Curious eye

Chicago Olympics?

Chicago is a finalist in the fight to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, with Monty’s Washington Park as the site of the main stadium and aquatic center. Monty figured he’ll be competing in those Games. Why wouldn’t he be?


Coolness Summer

Monty’s spending his first summer with his friends in Chicago instead of going down South. This will definitely reduce what Monty calls his “Summer Coolness Loss”.


Black President?

Barack Obama, practically Monty’s neighbor, will probably become the first Black President of the United States. They say Monty looks like Obama but, Monty believes he’s got the edge on Obama with his boss ‘fro!


The Big Step

Will his parents finally let him go outside his yard without them when he turns double digits? That’s a big step, right?


Uh! Oh!

Monty lands himself in a lot of trouble on the very first day of summer! All bets are off.

About the Author