Thursday, November 12, 2009

Poison Island by H. I. Larry, illustrated by Ash Oswald

In Zac Power's latest adventure, he must save his nerdy brother, rescue a secret formula, escape from a volcano - and all in time to get home and walk the dog.

Starting with his jump out of an airplane in the first chapter, twelve-year-old Zac's adventures are pure action. The story reads like the script of a adventure/thriller movie - Zac is hardly still for a moment, dashing from adventure to adventure. One minute he's escaping through the jungle, the next he's swimming through a barracuda-infested pool. There's no time for character development, description, or even much plot development, but that's not the point of the story. It's all about action!

These won't appeal to kids who like realistic fiction or the more family and school oriented stories that are usual for beginning chapter books, but reluctant readers, especially those who like action-packed movies and cartoons, will really enjoy this series. I'm happy to discover another good series for reluctant readers.

Oh, I almost forgot the illustrations - they're all pretty small, mainly pictures of gadgets, or highlighted parts of the story - clocks, exclamations, etc. They give the story a nice spy feel.

Verdict: Light, but fun!

ISBN: 978-0312346591; Published October 2008 by Feiwel and Friends; Borrowed from the library

1 comment:

max said...

It's so important to draw attention to reading, and attract reluctant readers to it,especially boys. In fact, I've recently completed a feature magazine article on this subject that came out in October, "Help for Struggling, Reluctant Readers."

I grew up as a reluctant reader, in spite of the fact that my father published over 70 books. Now I write action-adventures & mysteries, especially for tween boys, that avid boy readers and girls enjoy just as much.

My blog, Books for Boys is dedicated to drawing attention to the importance of reading.

Keep up your good work.

Max Elliot Anderson