BARR, Lollie The Adventures of Stunt Boy and his Amazing Wonder Dog Blindfold Pan, 2014 256pp $14.99 pbk ISBN 9781742613673 SCIS 1652278
Thirteen year old William (aka Stunt Boy), his amazing stunt-dog Blindfold and his older sister Jemima are part of his dad’s Stokes’ Stunt Circus (featuring all-human performers). Stunt Boy is convinced the recent, calamitous accident which has left Dad in a coma, was actually no accident but something more sinister, so, along with friend Benny, he is determined to find out what is really going on. With falling audiences, no ‘star’ act and financial deadlines looming, something drastic has to be done, and then, the sudden arrival of Dad’s rarely-seen twin brothers brings even more trouble. Stunt Boy’s brilliant plan to employ a famous teenage stunt rider results in some outrageous feats of daring investigation at rival Chesterley’s Monster Circus. Wild, funny and scary scenes ensue, as the stunt riders battle to not only solve the mystery, but rescue the cruelly treated animals from the dodgy circus. Amid all this, with so much on his mind, Stunt Boy’s friendship with Benny also seems to be in crisis.
This is a fast paced mystery with lots of red herrings, stunt bike action, a budding romance, a clever stunt-dog partner and a serious mystery to be solved, but while Stunt Boy is an often-annoyingly cocky narrator, he is also hilarious. Very entertaining – mainly for upper primary/lower secondary boy readers or anyone mad about stunt bikes (or circuses).
reviewed by Chloë Mauger