Cool can mean a lot of things.
Amazing, wicked, awesome, epic, radical, insane, ridiculously good and, of course – cold!
Jim Belicious was someone who lived on the not-so-cool side of cool, if you know what I mean. It wasn’t that Jim didn’t have cool T-shirts. And sneakers. And a semi-cool haircut. But being cool did not come naturally to him.
Today, Jim was about to meet someone who was naturally cool …
Jim isn’t quite cool. And it’s more to do with his take on the world and his interests than anything else. But a chance encounter of the potentially calamitous kind, evolves into a firm friendship with Skatergirl. Fortunately she always carries a scooter in her bag just in case her skateboard lets her down. She generously gives it to Jim and he is transformed into Scooterboy. And the adventures begin. There’s a race around the shopping mall and adventures with elevators, raps and rhymes. Skatergirl and Scooterboy are very different but their difference unite rather than divide them and their similarities cement their friendship. Black and white illustrations are scattered throughout, breaking up the text.
The Adventures of Scooterboy and Skatergirl is an action-stuffed, break-neck paced novel for newly independent readers. Skatergirl is an accomplished and successful skater and Scooterboy loves information almost as much as racing around the place with Skatergirl. Together they make a powerful team. Skatergirl has the confidence, Scooterboy the knowledge for the pair to succeed at almost everything they do. Each has an ‘Achilles heel’ fear and these add to their friendship and to the fun they can have with each other. Just when it seemed they are invincible, security guards deliver them to their parents who confiscate their wheels. These characters are at once ‘super’ and ‘everyday’ making it easy for readers to connect with them. Most chapters have almost complete stories, although there is also an over-arching narrative tying them together. There is plenty of absurdity and humour to keep reluctant readers engaged throughout. Recommended for lower- to mid-primary independent readers.
The Adventures of Scooterboy and Skatergirl, Andy Jones ill Doreen Marts ABC Books 2013 ISBN: 9780733331596
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller