Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja 6: Buchanan Bandits

Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja 6: Buchanan Bandits by Marcus Emerson (Allen and Unwin) PB RRP $12.99  ISBN 9781760295608

Reviewed by Daniela Andrews

Forget the pirate slang from the second book in this series.  Chase Cooper is about to become annoyed with an entirely new sound: chewing. Well, the chewing of gum to be exact. Someone is running around stealing everybody’s chewing gum. It’s all a bit strange to Chase, and, true to style, he’s not particularly sure he cares. Then Wyatt approaches him and suggests they team up to find the mysterious gum-stealing bandit. Wyatt? His enemy?

Zoe once again takes on the voice of reason: ‘“It’s easier to get dragged down by someone than it is to pull them up.”’ Chase is suspicious about Wyatt’s motivations, but his curiosity wins out and he agrees to help. So begins another crazy week at Buchanan School, where Chase has to figure out who the bandit is. Is it Jake, leader of the ‘wolf pack’? Sebastian? The white ninja? Wyatt? Or the so-called ‘scavengers’ his new friend, Naomi, tells him about? Chase is also trying to deal with ‘Career Week’ at school, and an embarrassing mentor. And why on earth is everybody going nuts over the erasers Sebastian has started selling? It’s all a bit much, but Chase manages to put the pieces together in a hilarious dream featuring James Buchanan himself. (Plus a kitten howling at the moon.)

Fans of this series will again appreciate the whimsical characters and storylines, along with social issues concerning this age group (7–12):
‘As a sixth grader, I feel like my entire life is sometimes controlled by what’s cool and what’s not.’
Chase learns a serious lesson about what he thinks is cool, and what is actually cool, from none other than a clown. Themes of bullying are once again addressed in a hilarious scene where Chase learns that clowns can do more than make people laugh – they can also scare your enemies senseless!

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