Launched, by J. A. Mawter

Five riders stood astride their bikes. The late afternoon sun bounced off helmets and handle bars and bells and reflectors, giving the group an eerie luminescent glow. They were an odd assortment of kids, drawn together by their love of riding, especially stunt riding.

In this, the second instalment in the Freewheelers series, the Freewheelers decide to enter a local bike trials competition. They’ll need to do some serious practice to get ready, but when they find the ideal training ground they soon find that they have unwelcome company.

There are strange things happening. There is graffiti appearing in their favourite places – and it’s not just any graffiti. Bryce, one of the Freewheelers, used to be in a graffiti gang, and his tag is being used. The other Freewheelers are worried that Bryce has gone back to his old ways. Then, when Tong’s bike is stolen, Bryce again falls under suspicion. Can Bryce remain a freewheeler? And what can he do to clear his name?

Although part of a series, this offering stands alone, too, so that readers new to the series are not disadvantaged. With a mix of boy and girl characters, from different racial and family backgrounds, this is a series designed to appeal to readers of both sexes. There is plenty of bike action, a mystery to be solved, and issues including loyalty, graffiti and homeless kids.

Likely to be lapped up by readers aged 10 to 12.

Freewheelers: Launched, by J.A. Mawter
Angus & Robertson, an imprint of Harper Collins, 2007