400 minutes of danger by Jack Heath
Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781760158798
(Age: Upper primary, Lower secondary) Award winning Australian writer, Jack Heath, has produced another thrilling book, featuring 10 stories, 10 dangerous situations, 10 brave kids and 40 minutes to escape.
Directed at reluctant readers, each of the ten stories in this collection is designed to be read in 40 minutes and a countdown is included in the page margins.
Teenagers are the heroes of these stories, each placed in a situation of grave danger, battling against overwhelming odds to survive. For example, Nancy must rescue her dog and ensure that both escape from a sinking ship, Charith must steer a bus full of classmates down a mountainside while being pursued by an assassin and Tak has to protect his colleagues from a rogue killer robot.
Mr List, the mysterious collector of animals, is the threatening villain in some of these stories, and the members of the agency, SPII, weave in and out.
Readers looking for a fast paced resolution of the plot and who like the challenge of trying to reach the denouement in 40 minutes, or even beat the countdown, will enjoy these stories.