‘Hi! Hi! Hi! It’s me, Keisha Jones, and I’m ready to take on the world!’ That’s quite an introduction but readers quickly realise that Keisha means what she says and indeed, that the world is hers for the taking, or should be. In this the first of her adventures, Keisha describes how her determination to fight unfairness gets her into ‘a teeny-weensy bit of trouble’. She’s outraged to learn that her local pet store is selling female rabbits at a lower price than male rabbits – so much for equality! Inspired by her Great Aunt Bee, who was a lawyer and an activist, she forms the Bee Squad with her best friends KD and Paisley and they begin to lobby the pet shop owner, moving to direct action when he refuses to change the price, which is actually just a sales incentive as he has more female bunnies. Undeterred by his argument, Keisha ramps up the protest and takes direct action, with unexpected consequences. She’s supported not just by the Bee Squad, but by some members of her family, primarily Aunt Marie who introduces them to John Lewis, the American activist, and his statement: ‘Never ever be afraid to make some noise and get into good trouble, necessary trouble.’
Keisha’s indomitable spirit and sense of justice are clear in every scene and her high spirits will endear her to young readers, even as older ones feel sympathy for the long-suffering owner of Manny’s Pet Shop. While keeping the emphasis on fun and friendship, the story demonstrates the importance of taking joint action when circumstances call for it. Keisha’s family are another pleasure of the book – warm, lively and wonderfully encouraging to their daughter. Expressive illustrations throughout by Chanté Timothy do even more to bring Keisha’s world to life.