New Fiction for Primary Readers

9419ae38-865c-45ff-9fad-e8e388a9dabbForensics Squad: Unleashed by Monique Polak. Tabitha is thrilled to be attending a summer forensics camp, even if she has to go with her sort-of friend Mason. Soon she is learning to dust for fingerprints, photograph a crime scene and take footprint impressions. Even though the camp instructors have set up a “crime” for the kids to solve, Tabitha longs to use her newfound skills to solve a real-life mystery

A great read for upper primary as a contemporary mystery story. Forensics camp provides the characters with skills to bring to their investigation of dog napping in town. Characters are well rounded and convincing with interesting developments in their relationships. Students who are interested in forensic science, crime solving and detective work, along with a strong canine connection, will enjoy Unleashed.


So Wrong by Michael Wagner. Grab a sneak peak on The author’s website. A cheerful and cheeky collection of short (very) tales interspersed with the almost unintelligible advice of Mitey Mikey (self-proclaimed Lyfe Coach for Kidz). The ‘advice’ will appeal to those who enjoy the somewhat vulgar, outlandish and irreverent humour of Wagner’s earlier books, Griffiths and Kinney. The commentary of the ‘live’ audience (the pet tortoise and crab) and the ad breaks between each episode of the nappy story combine to make this a laugh-out-loud package that will appeal to middle primary readers and and could provide a ‘hook’ to catch reluctant readers. Mikey’s illiterate advice is a bit confronting from a teacher’s perspective, but surprisingly easy to interpret (reminded me of correcting a few children’s stories 😕) – however these passages provide hilarious fodder for reviewing some basic spelling and grammar rules – if you dare! 🙊

imageTank and Slime Book 1: The Case of the Slime Stampede by Liam O’Donnell. Targeting middle primary and above. The heroes of this junior Gothic series  are Fizz, a goblin detective and Tank, a technology besotted troll, enrolled in 4th grade at Gravelmuck Elementary School. When the cleaner is arrested because his caustic cleaning slime ran amok, the sleuths set out to prove his innocence. Read Chapter 1 to get into the swing of this cleverly written story that seamlessly combines narrative and comic sequences tinged with green. Read more about this and Book 2: The Case of the Battling Botts on the author’s blog. Look out for more trouble from these two in forthcoming titles.

Forensics Squad: Unleashed, So Wrong and Tank and Slime Book 1 and Book 2 are available from INT Books in Australia. Grab copies today while stock lasts.


About jenbales

Avid lover of children's literature, experienced teacher librarian with expertise in resourcing the Australian Curriculum; Adjunct lecturer for Charles Sturt University and a representative of INT Books.
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