DEC Scan Journal : November 2011
Scan Vol 30 No 4 November 2011 78 VOAKE, Steve Hooey Higgins and the big boat race Walker, UK, 2011 ISBN 9781406322408 Appealing to readers who enjoy the style of writing which relies heavily on onomatopoeia and comic relief, this novel will have an assured readership. Humour and adventure are employed in this story about how Hooey, Will and Twig try to win the homemade boat race and have a pirate party. The plot and characterisation are chaotic, and the text is peppered with cartoons by illustrator Emma Dodson, making the storyline obvious and familiar. The font varies in style and size to add emphasis to action words and phrases, a format that has become more common in books that target an audience of newly independent readers or less confident readers needing additional support. S. Rasaiah USER LEVEL: Stage 1 Stage 2 Paper $13.95 SCIS 1508177 ZUCKER, Jonny Speed machine Scholastic, UK, 2011 ISBN 9781407121048 Danny Sharp, the protagonist in this fast moving adventure, has one obsession, motor sports. Since the age of seven, he has spent most of his free time karting, working on cars and engines with his dad, or playing racing themed computer games. Now a teenager, he anticipates progressing to the next level that involves racing in the regional quarter finals of the National Grainger Cup. This is a stepping stone, he hopes, to his eventual goal of Formula One. Tight family finances, a lack of sponsorship and a rival determined to stop him at whatever cost, are all challenges to be overcome. An easy flowing story, it will satisfy readers with its messages of determination and resilience. S. Morton USER LEVEL: Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Paper $14.95 SCIS 1500583 CAINE, Rachel Bite club Razor Bill, Vic, 2011 ISBN 9781921880094 The tenth book in the popular Morganville vampires series, this suspenseful vampire fantasy explores teenage themes of bullying, relationships, loyalty, guilt, and belonging. The central characters are multidimensional and the first person narrative passages by Shane provide a wonderful insight into his inner conflict. Unlike some novels in the vampire fantasy genre, this offers more than superficial dramatic angst. Caine delivers relationship development and outlines the resolution of some ongoing issues. There are the usual scenes of violence and death, common in the genre, though they are not gratuitous. Readers who are acquainted with the series will enjoy the reappearance of familiar characters. The novel also stands alone as a satisfying reading experience. H. Myers USER LEVEL: Stage 5 Stage 6 Paper $16.95 SCIS 1505640 COCKS, Peter Long reach Walker, UK, 2011 ISBN 9781406324754 In this suspenseful and sometimes brutal adolescent thriller, seventeen year old Eddie Savage accepts a role with the undercover police, following the gangland killing of his brother. Equipped with 21st century spy technology, Eddie joins the fight against the local crime boss and enjoys some raunchy sessions with his female minder. His work with an apparently innocent art collection leads him to become involved with the chief criminal’s colleagues, family and tantalisingly attractive daughter. The first novel in Cocks’ new young adult crime series, this is gripping reading for older students. Filled with action, espionage and tension, prospective readers may also enjoy the associated book trailer <www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fzLiRLV-To>. D. Johnston USER LEVEL: Stage 5 Stage 6 Paper $18.95 SCIS 1501350 COLLINS, Paul Mole Hunt Ford Street, Vic, 2011 ISBN 9781921665264 A gripping, action-packed tale of spies and espionage, this is the absorbing first novel in Collins’ new series, the Maximus Black files. Seventeen year old Maximus Black’s genealogy consists of madmen, murderers and megalomani- acs. His employer is seemingly uncon- cerned about this special agent’s dubious family history. Indeed, RIM, the galactic law enforcement agency gratefully considers Maximus one of its most valuable assets. With his questionable modus operandi, Maximus soon piques the suspicion of fellow RIM agent, Anneke Longshadow, who has been given the task of discov- ering a mole in the organisation. In a high energy, cat-and-mouse game, Maximus and Anneke engage in a battle of wits and courage to uncover the truth. Set in outer space, the clever narrative blends science fiction, crime and adventure genres. With its fast paced plot, this engaging novel should have wide appeal. H . Gardiner USER LEVEL: Stage 4 Stage 5 Paper $19.95 SCIS 1501072 DICKINSON, J.W. Jade and El-Sea Wombat, Qld, 2011 ISBN 9781921633249 A fantasy novel with an environmental theme serves up a dragon and a young penguin striving to save a world dying from global warming and pollution. Penguin lovers will appreciate the efforts of El-Sea who inveigles Jade, the dragon, to save the polar environs. In true fantasy style, invented language and dialogue propel the unlikely story along. Colloquial speech injects an element of famil- iarity and basic humour which may appeal to an unsophisticated audience. Large blocks of text on a wider than usual page make Some of these items are also suitable for upper primary students. Fiction for older readers Resources are arranged alphabetically by author. See also e-resources.