Blood Money, by J. E. Fison

I have always wanted to be rich. Richer than the Queen? No, not that rich – just to have loads of money, that’s all I ask. To have the cash for every new gadget invented, to buy the coolest new phone. That would be enough. I’m not saying I’m greedy. I’m just a bit needy. But when you’re on holidays at Hazard River you have to be careful what you wish for. It might just come true…

10-year-old Jack Wilde is keen to make some money and selling coconuts is not doing it fast enough. So when his brother Ben finds a bag of money, Jack is very interested. He thinks they can share. Then Lachlan and Mimi get in on the act and it seems everyone has a plan for the cash. But the owner of the cash, and the other contents of the bag, is keen to retrieve it. Actually he’s more than keen: he’s determined, desperate and he’s not going to let four nosy kids get in his way. Finding so much cash should be a recipe for fun, excitement and a big shopping spree. But Jack discovers while there’s plenty of excitement, it’s not the excitement he was planning. Cover art is by Mark McBride. There’s a map inside to show where all the action takes place.

This is the sixth instalment in the Hazard River series from J. E. Fison. The stories are set in a Queensland beach and riverside town. The children have a freedom that is reminiscent of earlier generations and sadly not so available to children today. Jack, his brother and their friends find there is plenty of adventure to be had during these holidays. Adults are very much on the periphery of the action, unless they are the baddies integral to the plot. The story proceeds at break neck pace, with more twists and turns than any bush track. Recommended for mid-primary readers.

Blood Money!

Blood Money, J. E Fison
Ford St Publishing 2011
ISBN: 9781921665462

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

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Toad's Revenge, by J. E. Fison

There’s a good reason I call my neighbour, Lachlan Master, the Master of Disaster. All of his plans end in disaster. Always. So when a celebrity moved to Hazard River and Lachlan decided we should meet him, I should have known our expedition could only end one way …
‘I heard Just Orsum is working on his most dangerous and daring mission ever,’ I say to Lachlan as we climb over a fence and into the backyard of Australia’s most famous adventurer, ‘Maybe he’s planning a trip to Mars.’

Jack and his friend, Lachlan are always on the lookout for adventure and excitement. And they are sure the arrival of Just Orsum is going to make life interesting. And it does. Just not quite in the way they’d imagined. Together with Jack’s brother Ben and their friend Mimi, Jack and Lachlan find themselves facing the biggest toads they’ve ever seen in an environment they hardly recognise. It takes all their combined skills and some help from some locals to find their way home.

Toads Revenge is the fifth story from J. E. Fison, set in a seaside/riverside holiday area of southern Queensland. Jack and his friends manage to get themselves into, and out of, plenty of trouble. The stories are told from Jack’s point of view but each of the four main characters contributes to both the trouble and the solutions they must find. There’s hardly time for the characters – or the reader – to catch their breath before another complication has them again on the run. Think updated and Australian-set Blyton adventures. Perfect for safe adventuring and hopefully too wild for copying! Recommended for mid-primary readers.

Toads Revenge!

Toads Revenge, J. E. Fison
Ford Street Publishing 2011
ISBN: 9781921665455

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author