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Sac State grad student pens mystery for youngsters


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Moses Jones is forever losing things, and when he couldn’t find a shoe, he retraced his steps to search for it. At the grocery store, for instance, he “foraged through the frozen foods,” “probed through the produce section,” “dared dangers in the deli” and “bumbled through the bakery.” And at the music store, he “sorted through the saxophones” and “dismantled the drums.”

Nate McQueen

Reading to his young daughter helped inspire Nate McQueen to write Moses Jones and the Case of the Missing Sneaker.

He finally found the shoe in his own refrigerator.

Moses Jones and the Case of the Missing Sneaker ($9.95, City Hill Publishing, 24 pages softcover) is the first children’s book written and illustrated by Sacramento State grad student N.T. McQueen, 28, who also works as a campus parking-enforcement officer for University Transportation & Parking Services.

“I’m sure people find that most things they’ve misplaced turn up in the most random spots,” says McQueen. “I have two little kids, so we lose things very often that end up in weird places, like inside our shoes.”

McQueen plans to continue the Moses Jones “case of” adventure series with his elderly protagonist getting to the bottom of such mysteries as his missing cat, spooky shapes that are scary at night, a noisy nuisance and the cause of his tummy ache.

“I had written a couple of stories when my wife and I were first married. I just had an idea and wrote it down. And then when my older daughter came along, I read to her,” he says. “I thought, ‘She likes it even without pictures. Maybe I should draw pictures and she’d like it even better.”

McQueen, who is working toward a master’s degree in creative writing and took a few art classes as a Sac State undergraduate, illustrated Sneaker with watercolors.

The book is suitable for ages 3 to 8, he says, and is available on and through City Hill Publishing (, a small publishing house in Rancho Cordova and owned by McQueen’s father, George.

In 2011, City Hill published McQueen’s first book, the religious novel Between Lions and Lambs.

For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Office of Public Affairs at (916) 278-6156.

– Dixie Reid