GOLDEN BAT HAS PLENTY OF SHINE

Golden Bat is the sixth book in Sandy Fussell’s widely read Samurai Kids series and its lively characters, strong themes, fascinating setting and fast-paced action give the book sparkle from cover to cover.

Golden Bat features Sandy’s popular characters; Kyoko the albino girl, Mikko the one-armed boy, Niya, the one-legged boy who narrates the story, Yoshi the boy who doesn’t want to fight, Taji the blind boy and Chen, the young Chinese boy from the streets of Beijing.

Dreaded Oong, the feared pirate captain is holding Mikko hostage and wants to trade him for his own nephew, Yuri who has been kidnapped by a corrupt magistrate.

The Samurai kids have only eight days to complete their mission and their situation isn’t helped when Sensei is seriously injured by a rogue bear and they are forced to seek the help of the Mountain Healer Iseul. Never before has Sensei been so vulnerable or needed the will, determination and courage of the Samurai Kids.

Taji is the central character in Golden Bat and he faces major internal and external dilemmas. The Mountain Healer may be able to restore his sight, but what will that do to Taji’s other talents? He must decide whether to get his sight back and lose his spirit or leave things as they are.

What makes the Samurai Kids’ books unique is that although the character’s lives are far from ‘ordinary’, they face dilemmas and fears that are very real and believable.

Golden Bat is another action-packed Samurai Kids adventure to keep young readers turning the pages; wondering what will happen next and what new dangers await the young Samurais.

It’s an evocative book full of vivid descriptions that place you right into the setting:

“We walk with ears wide open. When you are wary, the night is full of shadows and the forest is filled with whispers. Even our ninja footfalls ring loud in the silence.

The characters are well drawn, each with their own particular talents and flaws – each unique in how they respond to the challenges they are faced with.

Author, Sandy Fussell is meticulous with her research and provides an authentic feudal Japanese setting for Golden Bat.

As always, Rhian Nest James artwork is stunning and beautifully compliments the text.

The Samurai Kids books are lively historical fiction for readers aged 8+. They are published by Walker Books Australia.

 

FRIDAY BOOK FEATURE – FIRE LIZARD REVIEW

The Samurai Kids and Sensei are on their way to the hwarang training village in search of Pak Cho, Sensei’s former teacher.

At first, Kyung, the guide with the gun is determined to stop them, but he soon realizes that the travellers are more than a match for him.

In their latest adventure, Niya,  Kyoko, Mikko, Yoshi, Taji and Chen must help the hwarang warriors rescue the Nine Valleys from the clutches of the corrupt Provincial Governor and power hungry Hypo Moon.

In the process, they learn some valuable things about themselves, about patience and not judging too soon or too harshly.

Fire Lizard is the fifth book in the Samurai Kids series and just like its predecessors, it’s fast-paced with great characters and eloquent writing. Fire Lizard is narrated by Niya (whose spirit is the White Crane). He is the Samurai who can read Sensai’s thoughts and in this book, he comes one step closer to discovering his teacher’s secret.

This is another action-packed adventure for 9-12 year-olds. I love the uniqueness of the six Samurai Kids, each with their own individual strengths and weaknesses – each with a quality that is essential to the wellbeing of the entire group.

Sensei as always is full of wise words “Just take one step. Every journey begins with one step. No matter how long or hard the traveling is.”

Fire Lizard, like all the Samurai Kids’ books is beautifully illustrated by Rhian Nest James and has been meticulously researched.  Author, Sandy Fussell has impeccable attention to detail, and it’s this description of food, terrain and weather conditions that allow the reader to feel as if they are actually going along on this journey too.

Young readers have been eagerly awaiting the release of this fifth Samurai Kids’ adventure and I’m sure they won’t be disappointed. Fire Lizard is published by Walker Books.