Jack Hunter - Secret of the King by Martin King
|Jack Hunter - Secret of the King by Martin King|
|Genre: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A lively story with plenty of twists and turns and good characterisation which would have benefited from rigorous editing. Martin King was kind enough to talk to Bookbag.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 130||Date: August 2011|
|Publisher: Amazon Media|
|External links: Author's website|
Jack Hunter was not impressed by the idea of moving from Southend to Barnoldswick. It was a long journey, he'd left all his friends behind and to cap it all the rather sassy girl next door announced that his bedroom was haunted. The family had moved north because his Mum's father was getting a bit frail and needed looking after, but when Jack goes to see Grandad he realises that there's a lot more to the old man than meets the eye. He has a secret to share with Jack – and a gold coin which does seem to show that what Grandad says about buried treasure is true. He hunted for it for years and now he's handed the quest on to Jack.
Jack was supposed to keep the mystery of the treasure to himself, but he can't resist telling his new friends – Jules, the sassy girl, Holly (who is a boy rather than the girl you might be expecting), Martin and BT. They're all in the ten to twelve age group making this a good story for the eight to pre-teen age group. Older readers might suspect the ease with which clues turn up in the right place but the pre-teens are going to find this an exciting romp of a story. There are some well-characterised baddies and some good twists in the plot. Even at many times the target age group I couldn't stop reading as we got near to the end. There are even clues which you can work out for yourself – you could find the treasure along with Jack and his friends.
The friends are well-drawn too and I was surprised at the ease with which I could differentiate one from the other at a very early stage in the story. They've all got complementary skills which they use to great effect and the good balance between the feisty female and the lads means that this is a story which is going to appeal to both boys and girls. There's a good mix of historical fact and fiction which makes for an interesting read – and one which might encourage children to do a bit of research for themselves. It was also a tremendous relief to read a book for this age group – or the young adult market – which didn't resort to the paranormal. It's a good, old-fashioned adventure story set in the twenty-first century.
I've just the one quibble and that's the standard of the editing work, which does let the book down. With a rigorous copy-edit the book would be a great deal better.
I'd like to thank the author for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If this type of book appeals to your child then they might also enjoy The Salt-Stained Book by Julia Jones.
You can read more book reviews and buy Jack Hunter - Secret of the King by Martin King at Amazon
Martin King was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
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