I think I read this back in 2015. They were targeted for like 8- to 9-year-olds.

The series was about these 3 kids who were underground, and they used these white tiles to do stuff. Each tile did only one thing, but this one kid got a black tile which could do anything. The tiles did magic kind of things, such as talking to animals, or jumping higher.

They went to the center of the Earth in book 2, I think, and I think it was about pillars. It was a three book series if I remember correctly.

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  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. What kinds of "stuff" did the kids do? Magical stuff? Do you recall any of the cover art from the books? What age range were they targeted at?
    – DavidW
    Nov 23 at 4:07
  • it was magic kind of things, such as talking to animals, or jumping higher, they were targeted for like 8-9 year olds, wanted to find them for the nostalgia, dont remember any of the covers, but i think book 2 was about pillars, if that helps
    – sam
    Nov 23 at 4:10
  • nvm, just found the series
    – sam
    Nov 23 at 4:14
  • 4
    If you've figured out the answer, you can post it yourself.
    – DavidW
    Nov 23 at 4:15
  • I'll freely admit that I'm very curious now...
    – FuzzyBoots
    Nov 23 at 13:01

Since sam hasn't posted an answer, I'm going to guess that this is the Balance Keepers trilogy (2014-2016) by Lindsay Cummings.

In the first book The Fires of Calderon the hero, Albert Flynn, and two of his friends, Birdie and Leroy, are led on an adventure under the Earth by a dog that bears a letter from Albert's missing father. From the Goodreads entry:

After following a mysterious map into the woods and then under the woods, eleven-year-old Albert Flynn learns he’s a Balance Keeper—someone with special magical skills for fixing problems in three underground Realms at the Core of the earth.

This review describes how they draw Tiles from a fountain, and each Tile is white with a black rune and grants a specific power, except for Albert's Tile, which is black with a white rune. Birdie's Tile allows her to breathe underwater, while Leroy's Tile gives him a photographic memory.

The second book in the series is The Pillars of Ponderay which has the heroes return to the Core for more adventures.

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