Sucked Out, by John Parker

Monday. 8.45 am.
First assembly for the winter term at Granley High.
I was sitting with Zainey when he leaned over to tell me something. ‘Hey, Dan!’
I knew it was going to be a joke because he was grinning. It was an ugly sight. Then his glasses fell off and landed on the floor.
‘Your spectacles, young man,’ I said, tossing them back. ‘Now, what did you wish to impart to my superior intelligence?’

Dan and Zainey are back in another adventure with the eyeball. This is the eyeball that caused them trouble in Sucked In, although Sucked Out works just fine as a standalone read. In Sucked Out the thought-to-be-destroyed eyeball reappears at school assembly. Havoc reigns when Grimmo, maths teacher, keels over on stage. The eyeball is loose at school and it’s after blood. Zainey is obsessed by the eyeball, despite the fact that it’s creepy and has caused heaps of trouble in the past. It cost him lots of money and he wants it back. Dan convinces Zainey that he needs help and together the pair, with a little help from Caro and the school cat, Fleabag, set about capturing the eyeball.

Sucked Out is a new title from Walker Book’s Lightning Strikes series. With fast-paced short novels, this series is designed for upper primary, early secondary readers, particularly reluctant readers. Dan is engaging and dry as narrator. He’s keen to help save his friend from the eyeball, but he’s not above a joke or two on the way. He’s a convincing young teenager as is his friend, Zainey, who has finally had a growth spurt but is still struggling to establish his identity. Caro, their friend, casts about on the edge of their friendship, a grounded, more mature character, who helps when their efforts fail. A fun read.

Sucked Out, John Parker
Walker Books 2010
ISBN: 9781921529689

Reviewed by Claire Saxby Children’s book author.

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