Stacey Casey and the cheeky outlaw #Book 2 by Michael C. Madden

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Michael C. Madden's sequel to The Lost City (Book #1 in the Stacey Casey trilogy), begins with another jump through time to the Middle Cretacsious period. 

Dad, Stacey and Oliver travel nearly 100 million years into the past, only to encounter dangerous prehistoric fauna within a few minutes. It is here they meet Australotitan Cooperensis. In their hurry to escape an angry Lightening Claw (a carnivore resembling a T-Rex), they don’t realize one of the giant herbivore babies, whom they later dub, ‘Cooper’ is in the garage. Pronounced Oss-trah-low-tie-tan coo-per-ennsiss (Australotitan Cooperensis), the real Cooper's fossilized bones were discovered  outside of Eromanga, in south west Queensland only this century. It took over a decade, but this species is thought to be one of the biggest dinosaurs that ever lived. Read more:

Now in possession of a fast-growing baby dinosaur, Mr Casey needs to return to 1880 Australia in order to locate the technology to be able to return Cooper back to his own time. Before leaving, Cooper escapes from the garage. Dad, Stacey and Oliver have no choice but to bring Amelia into the Time Travelling fold, in return for her silence.

As the title suggests and Nancy Bevington’s illustrations confirm, Mr Casey’s Time Machine invention takes Stacey, Oliver and nerdy school chum Amelia to colonial Australia, where they encounter a likeable Ned Kelly, who comes to their aid on more than one occasion.

A mysterious impasse ends the story on a cliff-hanger because Stacey’s nemesis (another time traveller) trips them up when they attempt to return to the present.  Will they ever see their good friend again? It’s hard to imagine how – but it won’t be long before Book #3, The House That Time Remembers.

If you’re looking for a middle school novel brimming with myriad History, English and Science curriculum areas, this is the one. Michael C. Madden weaves a huge number of themes together in a crisp new way too. There’s none of the confusion as in many mystery stories - some of the stronger themes are: time travel, Australian historical narratives, palaeontology, family and friendship.  Listen to Michael’s own book teaser. 

The Teachers notes outline the themes and all curriculum areas. For stimulating discussion questions for each chapter simply download the notes here. (184p)

Themes: Time travel, Australian historical narratives, Palaeontology, Family and friendship.

Deborah Robins