Reviewed by Dale Harcombe
An ancient scroll, a rhyme, a game of hopscotch and a quest are the key elements in Hopscotch: Medusa Stone, an intriguing book from Ian Trevaskis and another of the great books coming out of Walker Books.
The opening plunges the reader right back into the Trojan War. It then moves back to the present, to Hannah’s move to Pelican Bay, before leading the reader to want to learn how she ended up back in the ancient time. It’s all because of Jake Peters, a boy from her school. It also raises questions about how Kostas the giant of Pelcan Bay fits into what happens.
The humour in the story works well and sounds so typical of the age group. Hannah and Jake are in year nine. According to Jake, Adam Price, the local heartthrob with the girls is ‘a legend in his own lunch box.’
It is while playing a game of Hopscotch that Jake disappears and becomes trapped in another time. Only Hannah has a clue of how to find Jake. Hannah meets the Game Lord and is required to test out and play his new game to rescue Jake. In doing so she has three different adventures based on Greek myths and even travels with Odysseus.
She also has to bring back three items from these adventures. In the course of these adventures, Hannah decides being involved in violence for real is a lot different and more scary and gruesome than just watching it on TV. She wants out of the whole situation but knows without her there is no way for Jake to return home. So she agrees to play again in an effort beat the giant Cyclops and to rescue Jake.
The story is full of action and clever in the way it integrates the mythical characters into the story. It sets up a great contrast with the present day and Pelican Bay.
At the end of the novel are some author’s notes which give further information about the ancient Greek civilization and the characters and gods of Greek Myth. This could be just the sort of book that will cause a young person to further investigate Greek Myths. After reading Hopscotch: Medusa Stone, my guess is readers from 11-14 will be eagerly awaiting the next instalment, Hopscotch: Golden Scarab.
Hopscotch: Medusa Stone, by Ian Trevaskis
Walker Books, 2009
RRP PB $16.95
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