Sunday 1 June 2014

Crooked Leg Road

Crooked Leg Road by Jennifer Walsh (Allen and Unwin)
PB RRP $14.99
ISBN 978-1-74331-693-1
Reviewed by Ann Harth 
David has gone missing. After seeing strange men lurking around his house, his friends, Kitty, Andrea and Martin are certain he’s been kidnapped. They join forces to find answers but are puzzled when David’s family is strangely secretive. They are hiding something.

Kitty becomes friends with the new boy at school but Skender has a few things to hide as well. He and his family know more about David’s situation than they admit. With teamwork, ingenuity and courage, the three friends enlist the help of Skender and embark on a mission to find David and rescue him. What they discover is bigger and more dangerous than they had suspected and they become embroiled in a fight for justice as well as the safety of their friend. 

In Jennifer Walsh’s second fast-paced adventure with Kitty, David, Andrea and Martin, she highlights the importance of friendship, loyalty and trusting your instincts. She peppers the story with hints, foreshadowing and just enough to keep the gears greased as the reader works through the mystery along with the characters. 10-12 year olds will enjoy the ‘aha’ factor in this book as the ending, although unpredictable, fills in even the tiniest gaps and every piece of the puzzle neatly falls into place.

Balmain, an old Syndey suburb, is the setting of Crooked Leg Road and also the home of the author. Her intricate knowledge of the area lends realism to the story with its authentic sensory detail.

Jennifer Walsh knew she wanted to be a writer at the age of six. Between then and now, she has filled many exercise books, raised a family and had a career writing computer manuals. Crooked Leg Road is her third book for children and features the same four characters she wrote about in The Tunnels of Tarcoola (Allen and Unwin 2012). She is currently planning another book in this series.

Ann Harth is a published children's author and writing tutor at Australian College of Journalism. She loves to read and is committed to creating children's literature that inspires, entertains and triggers a tiny twist in the mind. Her latest middle-grade novel, The Art of Magic, was released in 2012. 

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