Waterfight Frenzy, by Felice Arena

This morning I woke up early, my pillow wet with sweat. Finally! The first really hot day of the summer holidays. Up until now our break was turning out to be a snore-fest. Rainy weather had kept me indoors for two weeks. I was busting to get outside, and my friends Marty, Johnno and Tubs felt the same way.

Ben and his mates have been frustrated by the un-summer weather. When the first hot day arrives, they are determined to make the most of it. Marty invites Ben and their friends, Johnno and Tubs to his house for a swim. First they are pirates and take Ben captive. They will ‘throw him to the sharks’, they say. But Captain Ben Lightfoot is too fast for them. More adventures follow as the boys revel in the sunshine and warmth. The four main characters are introduced before the story begins and there is contents page. At the end there are several blank pages with an invitation for readers to draw their own adventure. Each page is accompanied by stick figure illustrations. There are also extra images and flip pictures at the bottom of each page.

Water Fight Frenzy is a short chapter book. The featured characters have had one previous outing as part of the short story collection, Farticus Maximus and Other Stories that Stink. Now the boys have their own series. The text is large and the chapters are short. Younger readers will be able to skim the illustrations and ‘read’ most of the story, although there are more details in the text. Water Fight Frenzy is a light-hearted, fast-paced adventure aimed at boys. Girls do appear, but typically for the age-group, they are the enemy! Recommended for mid-primary boys, newly independent and reluctant readers.

Water Fight Frenzy (Stick Dudes)

Water Fight Frenzy (Stick Dudes), Felice Arena
Scholastic, 2009
ISBN: 9781741694413

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review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author