Lessons for a Werewolf Warrior, by Jackie French

Behind him he could hear a long sluuuushhh as the Zurm oozed down the stairs. A vision of what would happen hovered in front of him…Spot, glued to the floor, her Frisbee in her mouth, her eyes wide and desperate as she slowly starved. Old Mrs Shaggy, strawberry-jammed solid as she spooned out ice cream for her nephews…
the ice cream, thought Boo frantically. The Greedle wants our ice cream!
And suddenly he knew what he could do.

Boojum Bark lives quite happily with his mum, working as delivery boy for her ‘Best Icecream Shop in the Universes’. But that changes one Christmas Eve when the Greedle and his evil henchmen come to steal not only the Best Icecream, but also the Best Icecream maker – Boo’s mum. Even though Boo has saved the rest of his village from the Greedle, all he wants is his mum back.

Because of his heroics, Boo is sent to the School for Heroes where he can learn all the skills of a hero – and, he hopes, one day save his mum. But first he has to get used to walking on two legs (not easy for a werewolf pup), travelling through wormholes, and mixing with heroes from other worlds and universes.

Lessons for a Werewolf Warrior is the first new series in the new School for Heroes series from one of Australia’s best loved children’s authors, Jackie French. With an eclectic cast of characters, lots of action, and lashings of humour, this is sure to appeal to middle and upper primary school readers, who will be keen to see the series continue in the nest instalment.

Lots of fun.

Lessons for a Werewolf Warrior (School for Heroes)

Lessons for a Werewolf Warrior (School for Heroes), by Jackie French
Angus & Robertson, 2009

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Macbeth and Son, by Jackie French

The dream shimmered as Luke struggled to wake up. This wasn’t right! It couldn’t be!
Suddenly the dream released him. Luke sat up panting, as though he had been running, not lying there asleep.
Not Macbeth!
That couldn’t be the Mormaer’s name! Macbeth was a murderer!

In modern-day Australia Luke is studying Shakespeare’s Macbeth at school, but he isn’t much interested – he’s got other things to worry about, like his television-star stepfather, and the scholarship he’s won to prestigious Saint Ilf’s.

In eleventh-century Scotland, Lulach lives with his mother and stepfather, Macbeth, who is soon to be crowned King by popular vote. But when Luke starts dreaming scenes from Lulach’s life, suddenly the distance of time is not so much. Luke is especially disarmed by the differences between Lulach’s Macbeth, and the story told by Shakespeare. Did Shakespeare lie when he wrote his play? And does it really matter?

Macbeth and Son tells the two parallel stories of the boys, with the reader (and the characters) becoming gradually aware of the similarities between the two. In the modern day, Luke struggles with the dilemma of whether telling a lie can be justified if it makes somebody happy. At the same time Lulach becomes increasingly aware that telling the truth can be better than bluster and promises. Each boy draws strength from the other’s situation.

This is an outstanding offering from one of Australia’s most talented writers for children, Jackie French, who weaves tales which transport readers to the time periods she describes. Macbeth and Son is an excellent read.

Macbeth and Son, by Jackie French
Angus & Robertson, an imprint of Harper Collins, 2006