Review Blog

Nov 25 2011

Hal Junior : The Secret Signal by Simon Haynes

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Simon Haynes, 2011. ISBN: 9781877034077.
(Age: Suitable for 9 -12 year olds) Set in the future, Hal Junior lives in a space station with his scientist mother and his dad who cleans air filters. The story begins with Hal trying to retrieve his homework from the space station recycling hatch with help from his clever friend, Stephen 'Stinky' Binn. Unfortunately Hal, who often gets into trouble despite his best intentions, has a near miss catastrophe trying to solve his homework dilemma. Hal has the ability to attract mayhem and has been described as a 'Dennis the Menace' in space. Yet it is Hal who discovers a sinister plot that would affect the whole space ship.
Simon Haynes has written a fun science fiction book for primary aged students. It has an exciting plot, humour and a likeable main character. I am not a Sci Fi fan but I enjoyed reading Hal's adventures and did laugh at some of his antics.
The book also contains small line drawings and some funny visual jokes.
Simon Haynes has published other science fiction books for teens / adults but this is his first venture into children's fiction. The book has been self published and lacks the cover appeal and paper quality of mainstream publishers but is worth reading.
Jane Moore

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