Flying Ninja! (Ninja Kid #2)

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Anh Do (text) and Jeremy Ley (illustrator), Flying Ninja! (Ninja Kid #2), Scholastic Australia, October 2018, 192 pp., RRP $14.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781742999579

Nelson, AKA ‘Ninja Kid’ is back in Flying Ninja! the sequel to the new Ninja Kid series from Anh Do. Also back are his sidekick/cousin, Kenny, who provides a lot of the comic relief in the story and the evil, Dad-look-alike, Dr Andrew Kane.

I haven’t had the privilege of reading the first installment of this new series, so my 8 year old filled me in as I started to read. However he didn’t really need to. Anh Do has done a great job of writing this book so that even if kids haven’t been able to get their hands on the first installment, they will easily pick up the major plot arcs and be able to enjoy this story as a stand alone book.

The main character, Nelson, is very relatable and will be endearing to many kids. He feels ordinary and normal, even nerdy. Even his new status as a Ninja doesn’t really seem to transform him into the cool kid he wishes he could be. Luckily he recognises that he does have a brain and it can be an asset to him in tricky situations. Kid readers will find it really funny how Nelson seems to come out of situations looking nothing like the hero he is supposed to be.

This book is really well written for kids who are just graduating to independent readers. The story is straightforward and moves along at a steady pace. The illustrations also provide plenty of ‘help’ to young readers. The events and the characters are depicted with plenty of life, emotion and energy.

For children who are currently enjoying Zac Power, the Ninja Kid series will be a great next step.

Reviewed by Cherie Bell

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