Fearless Frederic by Felice Arena
Penguin, 2018. ISBN 9780143786757
(Age: 9-14) Recommended.
Themes: Courage. Paris. Floods. Friendship. Adventure.
Frederic's father would like him to develop his boxing and sparring skills. Who knows where this will lead? But Frederic is not sure. Does he just lack the fighting instinct and the bravery needed, or is his desire to work with horses a stronger influence? Sadly, a tragic event leads Frederic into circumstances where bravery is tested. And the floods of Paris in 1910 create a scenario where friendship is found amidst the flooded streets and the new trio of young heroes work together to fight against the dilemma of disaster that the flood has brought. They also give Frederic support as courage is needed to deal with the past and the responsibility of fighting for justice.
This book's adventurous drama will be enjoyed by young readers, and its historical setting of the Paris streets will intrigue those with an interest in the past and European culture. Young readers aged 9-14 years will enjoy this story as it is action-packed without being crowded with detail. Younger readers will enjoy the exploits, and older readers (especially Francophiles) will connect to the references to French literature and culture. Regardless of the age of the reader, they will recognise the naive quality of the trusty trio and the hint of humour in their risky endeavours.