Summer's End, by Luke C. Jackson

Suddenly Amy is holding a hand to the side of her face, her breath hitching as the hallway reverberates with the echo of flesh striking flesh.
Lila had slapped her.

Kristy has been away from Summer’s End and her school, the Owens Academy, for more than a year, after an extended stay in hospital. What she finds is a town and school much different than the place she left behind.

The school principal has gone missing and Nicci, the best friend that Kristy treated badly, is hanging out with the cool group. Kristy becomes increasingly aware that there is something dark lurking beneath the surface, but she has no idea what it is. Will she figure it out before it’s too late?

Summer’s End is a creepy thriller aimed at young teens. The action is well paced and readers are kept guessing right until the end, with twists and turns aplenty. Part of the English Alive series from Jacaranda, it is suitable for classroom use, but engaging enough to be enjoyed for private reading.

Summer’s End, by Luke C Jackson
Jacaranda, 2005

The Unclaimed, by Luke C. Jackson

When I was seven, there was a family, the Rossis. They stayed for the day, toured the Reef and stuff, but left when it started to get dark. They were on their way back to the city…’ He takes a deep breath. ‘They had three kids, two boys and a baby girl. The town closed the road the day after.’

When Jenna and Andy Burton go to the town of Broken Reef for a family holiday, they feel sure it will be a boring one. But as soon as they arrive, strange things start to happen. First, there is a ghostly boy in the yard next door, and then Jenna hears voices in the bush. The house they are staying in has its own mysteries too.

Jenna and Andy are befriended by a group of local kids who call themselves the Reefriders and together the teens set about trying to unravel the mystery of these ghostlike children When they do solve the mystery, it is almost beyond belief.

The Unclaimed is a fast paced mystery for 10 to 14 year old readers, with mystery and adventure but also themes of family and friendship. With a mixture of male and female protagonists, it will appeal to both boys and girls in the age group. Part of the English Alive program, the book is supported with worksheets suitable for classroom use.

A good read.

The Unclaimed, by Luke C. Jackson
Jacaranda, 2005