The Fly Trap Snaps by Johanna Knox Illus. Sabrina Malcolm. Pub. Hinterland Press, 2011.
Imagine buying a venus flytrap only to find that it is called Dion, can talk and wants to become a Hollywood actor.
This is what happens to Spencer Fogle just as his father and mother face the biggest catastrophe in their lives. Will Spencer be able to tell them? and can Dion be used to help solve the crisis?
Well it is not all as simple as that. Dion the talking venus flytrap has been geneticallycreated to star in horror movies by scientist Bette Noir who is supported financially by a pint sized boy wonder thug called Jimmy Jangle. Not a nice chap is Jimmy Jangle who is backed up by two female thugs called Sybil and Cassandra who provide the dumb and dumber element to this novel.
Add a beautiful film star, Eulalia, and you have an adventure/mystery/sci/fi fantasy that will have wide appeal with children.
What’s more it is part 1 of a trilogy, and I hope it does well.
The Boy Without a Soul by Michael Panckridge. Pub. Black Dog Books, 2011.
Gabrielle is a young girl who doesn’t know anything about herself. She awoke one day and couldn’t remember anything except that there was a voice in her head that told her two things. Firstly that she would help people but not to go looking. Secondly that she was not to try find out about her own past.
That is the spooky part, but why?
Into the story come two brothers who are very competitive with each other. Michael is the oldest and Jack. At the beginning of the story Jack is beating Michael in a bike race when he has an unexplained accident after which he is a completely different person. Why is this?
Gabrielle meets Jack at school and knows that he is different some how but doesn’t know why she knows this. She gets to know Jack and Michael and things start to go weird.
At school a new councellor called Mrs Blackmore has put TV cameras all over the school to spy on the students and she is very protective of Jack. Why is this?
Gabrielle and Michael try to find out about Mrs Blackmore and the thrilling action starts.
This is part 2 of the series that involves Gabrielle but it doesn’t seem to matter if you haven’t read book 1 because I haven’t.
The book is easy to read with big print and it is only 174 pages long. It will appeal to children in years 5/6/7/8 who like science fiction, mysteries and action.
Z.Rex by Steve Cole. Pub Red Fox Books (imprint Random House), 2010.
Adam Adler is 13 years old, a Scotsman and he loves to play X Box games. His father designs such games and uses Adam as a guinea pig in testing them. He is working on a new system called Ultra-Reality and has to go away leaving Adam alone in his new Mexico apartment.
Adam looks out the window and sees a flash in the sky but dismisses it, then he gets an unusual text message from his father, or is it? Then massive action. Adam’s apartment is attacked and destroyed by a massive dinosaur like a T-Rex. He escapes and legs it to a small town near a grave site of dinosaurs, pursued by some military men who seem to think he knows something.
He is captured but rescued from his captors by the dinosaur who seems to be able to talk in halted words and wants to keep Adam alive. In fact the dinosaur shows some of Adam’s characteristics, I wonder why? After an action packed chase the dinosaur informs him he is a Z.Rex and wants him to fly to Scotland with him.
What we are dealing with is a dinosaur with intelligence who is seeking revenge. Adam and the Z Rex get on very well. I wonder why? What part does Adam’s father have in this? Riveting stuff and action aplenty.
Very unusual but hypnotically readable. Action readers will love it and the plot is believable and simple. What’s more there is a sequel called Z.Raptor.
Intermediate school and Juniour high school appeal. I loved it and so will you.