Review Blog

Apr 03 2020

Sabotage by Shelley Johannes

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Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker book 3. Lothian Children's Books, 2020. ISBN: 9780734417350.
(Age: 7-10) Recommended. Beatrice Zinker, with her small group of friends, have created a wonderful, but secret, campaign to acknowledge 'special' people within their school community with a certificate of honour. The joy of these awards seems to have sparked a copycat. Beatrice is known for her creative thinking upside-down (and for her break-dancing skills) and in combination with her oldest friend Lenny and their new friend Sam, have made something worthwhile in the community, but the copycat award introduces an element of distrust in the friendship. Beatrice must sort out the sabotage and work out who has copied their awards. Unfortunately, things do not go smoothly and acting like a jellyfish, missing the bus and a trip to the Principal's office create interesting detours in her investigation.
Beatrice's eccentricity and her abilities, both right-way-up and upside-down, make her a charming main character. This is the third book in the series and there are references to the previous books and complications for the young girl. The book could be read easily without having to read the previous books in the series. Quirky illustrations interspersed through the text add comedic detail. This is another series that will engage younger female readers who love a mystery and friendship story, with a hint of humour. Themes: Friendship; Jealousy; Acts of Kindness; Break-dancing.
Carolyn Hull

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