Tuesday 31 August 2010

Zac Power: Spy Camp – Zac Climbs High

Zac Power: Spy Camp – Zac Climbs High by H.I. Harry, illustrated by Cal Bennett and Ron Monnier (hardie grant Egmont)
PB RRP $7.95
ISBN 978-192156477-2
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Zac Power’s code name is Agent Rock Star. At twelve years old he is fully trained and works for GIB (Government Investigation Bureau) in a fight against BIG, an evil spy group. Zac frequently goes to Spy Camp where he fine tunes his existing skills and learns new ones for his missions. His whole family are also spies. Each one has a different role to play for GIB. Communication from the central office comes to Zac through his SpyPad which doubles up with lots of other functions like music player, and computer and is highly confidential.

Today Zac is at the supermarket when his SpyPad beeps. He is directed to a specific lane where a trolley with the GIB symbol stands. He gets in. This activates the shelves and they open for the trolley to move in and travel down a tunnel. This is normal activity for Zac and his undercover work. He is contacted through these discreet and unusual methods when a mission is beginning.

His destination is Spy Camp, a domed building with lots of entertainment facilities. But there is no time for that today as Zac heads straight for the desk for his Info-Disk which he can access through his SpyPad and contains his training information.

The necessary skills Zac will need to learn are dealing with heights. He has to learn to walk the tightrope and go undercover as a circus performer for this mission. His training partner is Agent Ace (real name Celia) whom Zac dislikes as he considers her rude and bossy. The place of learning is the Blue Top Circus. His accessories are shoes called jelly joggers that help the wearer to land safely from heights. Filled with jelly pads that are activated when the heels are clicked together, they are an important and necessary tool.

Celia boasts that she’ll beat Zac on the SpyLadder, a method of point allocation awarded to spies who do well on missions and at Spy Camps. But there is corruption in every area of the Spy system and sabotage is always a threat. When Zac’s spy senses start to tingle, he is alerted to some kind of danger ahead. What is Celia hiding? What dangers await the young spy? Is Zac trained well enough to overcome the threats against him?

This series is filled with excitement, adventure and danger, aimed at early readers, and in extra large print. The black and white illustrations show all the gadgets in detail with every part labelled as in all the Zac books, so the reader always sees what is described in writing. These books allow children to believe that they can become whatever they choose in life, even secret agents. It encourages reading for reluctant readers and leaves the anticipation of what will happen in the next book.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Buzz Words Books would love to hear what you think.