Tuesday 20 September 2011

Boy vs Beast, Border Guard Battle Files, Land

Boy vs Beast, Border Guard Battle Files, Land by Mac Park, illustrated by Melanie Matthews, Britt Martin and Millie Shorter (Scholastic Australia) Text, design and illustrations copyright Lemonfizz Media 
PB RRP $9.99 
ISBN 9781921931093
Reviewed by Dawn Meredith

 I love this series! As a teacher I find them incredibly useful. The consistent phonemic simplicity gives boys with poor reading skills the confidence to tackle each new title. In fact they can’t wait until the next adventure comes out! The series sits perfectly in its niche – adventure, excitement, danger, beasts and gadgets. Even girls enjoy these stories, for much the same reason. The illustrations are super cool and encourage the reader to expand his/her vocabulary by using the picture cues. In each volume a background story is provided, linking all the episodes and giving a first time reader the information to understand the plot and characters.

Set in the five lands of Beastium – Terradon, Infernix, Sludgia, Isolus and Volcan, young Border Guard Kai Masters battles to keep beasts inside the perimeter known as The Wall along with his sidekick BC, the robotic dog.

This particular edition is a little different to the usual story in that it is a source book, explaining the Border Guards merit badges for successful battles in Air, Land, Water, Fire, Battle Skill and Battle Gear awarded. In this volume the reader learns how to win the Rock badge in The Ground Lands. The book describes the beasts and pests indigenous to the Ground Lands, also the gadgets and equipment, such as the hover board, needed to combat them.

This is the fourteenth book in the series and I imagine (and hope) there will be many more. The lands of Beastium are constantly plagued by dangerous wild beasts which require brave Border Guards to keep them under control! At this time there is also a Battle Files book on ‘Air’ lands which follows the format.

Dawn Meredith writes from the Blue Mountains and is a May Gibbs Fellow 2011. Her new book, The Anything Shop will be launched October 15th. See here for details: www.dawnmeredithauthor.blogspot.com  

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