‘Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls!’ The announcer’s voice bounces around the stadium. ‘Prepare yourselves for THE most extreme, THE most spectacular, THE MOST INCREDIBLE freestyle motocross stunt in HIS-TOOOOOOORRRRRRY!’
The crowd erupts into deafening applause. Row after row of people are packed into the arena, right up to the nosebleed seats. Through the visor on my electric blue helmet, I stare out at them. They’re jumping up and down, waving their arms in the air and chanting my name. ‘Legend. Legend. Legend.’
The place is buzzing with energy.
The million or so white stadium lights are dazzling. Camera flashes pop.
Everyone is here to see me.
Ben has moved with his family from the country to the city. That means less space, and a new school. And with the new school, a new bully and his offsider, determined to make Ben’s life a misery. There’s a girl who might become a friend, if he could just shake off the bullies. But with everyone in the family adjusting to the changes of the move, that’s not as easy as it sounds. His father is adjusting to his city vet job. Mum is working for the bully’s mother. And Ben can’t ride a bike to school and his little brother Joey insists on wearing a roo-suit every day. Life spirals downwards as Ben becomes trapped in Martin’s web.
The ‘Lightning Strikes’ series from Walker Books Australia are short novels with lightning-paced plots. Each is styled to be quite recognisable with silver titles and a single image set in a flared background. They are complete stories designed for readers who might find it challenging to sit still long enough to read a full-length novel. I Dare You examines themes around family, change, bullying and boys in transition between childhood and adolescence. It’s an action-packed story about making choices and taking charge of your own destiny. Recommended for mid- to upper primary readers.
I Dare You , Aleesah Darlinson
Walker Books Australia 2012 ISBN: 9781921977510
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author
Avaialable from good bookstores or online from Fishpond .