Children's Book Review by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com
Walker Books (2012.) It's one of the Lightning Strikes series, easy-to-read chapter books aimed at primary kids. Wreck the Halls features characters McKinlay used in two earlier books she wrote for Walker - Going for Broke and The Big Dig.
$500 prize money! Yes! This Christmas decorating comp is too easy. Decorations? No sweat. Strategy? Who needs it? What on earth could go wrong?
I really enjoy McKinlay's books. Previously, I've read and reviewed Duck for a Day, The Truth About Penguins and No Bears. You'll be unsurprised to learn that Wreck the Halls is my new favourite! I think that's because I can so easily imagine this book converting kids who used to believe they didn't enjoy reading. It's a fun romp with believable characters whose adventures make us giggle.
Nathan, Ronnie and Weasel come up with the perfect plan to make badly-needed money. With their construction and technology skills, it should be a cinch to win the Christmas Lights Competition. Instead, the heroes are faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles. And then Ronnie gets an idea...
As soon as I'd read Wreck the Halls, I found myself wanting to race out and find some kids to share it with. It would make an excellent choice for a classroom or library read-aloud serial, one where kids will be urging "just one more chapter." I think it would also be a great gift for primary kids, especially boys who love action and humour.
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