Send Simon Savage, by Stephen Measday

The 15th Century,
Simon Savage sucked in big gulps of air as he ran swiftly down the cobbled street. As he wondered if he should have taken the left turn and then the right, he heard shouts from a chasing patrol of soldiers. But a quick look over his shoulder showed no sign of them.
In the dim moonlight, Simon stumbled through a mound of putrid rubbish and reached the end of a row of rotten old houses with thatched roofs. He lifted his left arm, pressed a finger to the touch-screen on his wrist pilot and activated a series of yellow grids. A red locator dot and a set of figures flashed in the right hand corner.
‘Wrong freakin’ street!’ he gasped. He was close to the timeline that would take him home, but not close enough…

Simon is living a normal life in Sydney when his scientist father disappears from a beach. As if that wasn’t unsettling enough, he’s offered the opportunity to join an elite group of young teenagers. They will train at a secret facility for a mysterious organisation called The Time Bureau, and then travel to other times. Simon is both excited and apprehensive, still trying to adjust to the loss of his father. He discovers that his father had secrets of his own and a new mission joins those he’s assigned – to attempt to discover what happened on the day his father disappeared.

Send Simon Savage explores the idea of time travel, without getting too caught up in the technicalities. There are references to the idea that travelling to another time carries the risk of altering the time to come, and to the possible effects on time travellers. But Stephen Measday isn’t attempting to explain the theory to his readers, he’s setting them off on a grand quest backwards and forwards in time. He explores the changing dynamics of family as children transition away from childhood. There is a strong theme of caring for our world, and the consequences if we don’t. But mostly, it’s pure adventure, pitting Simon and his friends against a range of enemies. Simon’s world is a complex one, but Measday keeps his readers close with the ties to family and friendship. Recommended for upper primary readers.

Send Simon Savage, Stephen Measday
Little Hare Books 2010
ISBN: 9781921541339

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

Leaper Lane – Rugby League Rookie, by Stephen Measday & Paul Sirronen

The lights of Telstra Stadium were bright and blinding. Thousands of fans were cheering for me!
I went back slowly to take my kick.
There were fifty-two seconds left in the game. Our regular goal kicker had just gone off with an injury. Now it was all up to me and I couldn’t let the team down.
This was my moment.

When Jack’s mum moves him from Melbourne to Sydney he has to say goodbye to his favourite sport – Aussie rules – and he’s not impressed. But when he is introduced to rugby league, Jack wonders if it’s all so bad. He tries out for his local club, the Wanderers, and works hard to make a place for himself on the team.

It isn’t all plain sailing. Jack is pretty small compared to some of the other players, and he doesn’t even know the rules of the game. When he gest injured making a tackle, Jack worries that he might be left out of the team.

Leaper Lane: Rugby League Rookie is the first title in a new series which follow Jack’s adventures as he learns to play (and love) his new game. With plenty of sporting action, there are also other subjects explored, including family break-ups and friendship.

This series is likely to appeal to 8-12 year old readers, specially those with an interest in rugby league.

Leaper lane: Rugby league Rookie, by Stephen Measday and Paul Sironen