Sunday 17 August 2014

Riddle Gully Runaway

Riddle Gully Runaway by Jen Banyard (Fremantle Press)
PB RRP $14.99
ISBN 9-781-922-089-885
Reviewed by Neridah McMullin
Pollo di Nozi is a reporter-in-training and the local super sleuth of Riddle Gully. She definitely has a nose for news but occasionally she does get things a little bit muddled up. So it’s just as well her heart is in the right place.
Pollo can smell a mystery from a mile away and when things start to go missing in Riddle Gully, Pollo can’t resist the challenge to solve it. With Shorn Connery, her sheepish sidekick pet and her best friend Will by her side, Pollo is determined to track down the thief.
Unfortunately, Pollo is quick to point the finger and accidently implicates the Mayors nephew, Benson.

With determined zeal, Pollo strives to redeem herself for getting it ‘wrong’ and whilst restoring Benson’s reputation, setting the record straight. What follows is a series of hilarious mishaps, typical of Pollo Di Nozi’s adventures. But that’s why we love her!

Riddle Gully Runaway is a story that skips along. It’s fast-paced and funny, packed with action, false leads, adventure and mystery, in the fight to clear Benson’s name and find out who the real thief is.

It was quite sad in places as Benson’s had a bit of a rough family life but he’s a forgiving and brave character and Pollo, as her charming self, with Shorn Connery and Will, definitely comes through with the goods and a thoroughly satisfying ending.

Jen Banyard has extensive Teaching Resources that support this novel engaging learning about English Language, Literature and Literacy. The notes also suggest that the book can be used as a springboard for discussion about family relationships, teenagers, journalism, local government, and the understanding that people are not always as they might at first appear.

This is Jen Banyard’s third book and it’s a well-written, humorous and suspenseful read for readers of middle fiction (10 – 12 years). I thoroughly recommend this book!
Neridah McMullin is the author of five books for children. Her latest book is an Indigenous folklore story called 'Kick it to Me'. It’s an ‘aussie rules’ story that’s being endorsed by the Australian Football League. Neridah loves family, footy and doing yoga with her cat Carlos (who also just happens to love footy).

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