Marcus Emerson, Terror at the Talent Show (Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja #5), Allen & Unwin, Feb 2017, 240pp., $12.99 (pbk), ISBN: 9781760295592
Marcus Emerson, Buchanan Bandits (Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja #6), Allen & Unwin, Feb 2017, 256pp., $12.99 (pbk), ISBN: 9781760295608
U.S. based author Marcus Emerson keeps the hi-jinks and humour rolling in Terror at the Talent Show, the fifth offering in the ten book series Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja. Chase Cooper, ninja-obsessed boy detective, with a wild imagination and some killer ninja moves, is the likeable star of this action thriller series. In Terror at the Talent Show, he chases a stolen penguin around the school and searches for the culprit who perpetrated the theft. If he can’t save the day, the talent show, organised by his cousin Zoe, is doomed. Meanwhile, ninjas – good and bad – overrun the school and mobile phone obsessed zombies take over the library.
The sixth book in the series, Buchanan Bandits, continues the action at Chase Cooper’s school. This story gives a little more back story than the fifth book but both are still highly readable, despite being mid-way through the series. Chase ninjas his way around school, trying to solve the mystery of who is stealing everyone’s gum, unsure who amongst his 6th grade peers can and cannot be trusted. The resolution is a clever one I didn’t see coming, and clowns, zombies, and of course ninjas, feature in the climactic scene.
Hand this one to kids who complain that reading is boring. For ages 9-12.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Foster