Children’s book Mystic of the Midway features donated photos

GUELPH – Guelph author A.A. Blair, says he has been overwhelmed by the support of local community photo donations for his novel Mystic of the Midway.

“Fans of the Crystal Beach amusement park have been so encouraging and supportive of Mystic. It’s been overwhelming to see support from both sides of the border and how much the park has meant to so many people,” Blair stated in a press release.

“It’s good to keep the memory of Crystal Beach Park alive, otherwise it will vanish,” added Buffalo author Rudy Wolowiec. “I took the park for granted back then. Now I am always looking for photos online. The park has become one of my hobbies.”

Blair decided to use photos rather than illustrations for the exact reason’s Wolowiec expressed.

“There’s something magical about a photo. It takes the reader to a time and place that was real, allowing them to transcend time and space to imagine themselves there,” he stated.

Of the donations, Mystic of the Midway is proud to feature Buffalo historian and coaster enthusiast William E. Kae’s photos and topographical map featured in some of his many books about the Crystal Beach Park.

“Bill was such a great support. He was a great help at making the park come to life in the novel,” Blair explained.

“It’s unfortunate that Bill won’t be able to see the finished product. We lost him in September 2020. But we’ve dedicated the book to his memory. I think he’d like the finished product.”

Blair describes the book, published by Histria Books,  as historical fantasy and hopes that the story inspires younger generations to become interested in Crystal Beach Park.

The story, geared to ages seven to 11, follows Effie and her family, who head to their summer cottage for some relief from constant tests and doctors’ appointments after a horrible accident.

Effie stumbles across a mystery that threatens to destroy her family and enlists the aide of her detective brother, Jimmy, along with her long time Crystal Beach friends Lydia and her mischievous little brother Sniff.

As their investigation deepens Effie begins see and hear things that couldn’t be real.

Mystic of the Midway is now available for pre-order at a discounted price from the Histria Books website:

“We’re very excited that part of Southern Ontario will be featured on the world stage. We’re hopeful that Histria’s ability to reach such a broad audience will spark interest and inquiry into our local history,” Blair explained.