25 June 2010

Monkey Mountain

by Justin D’Ath

Penguin Australia. Junior, Australian, Paperback rrp $14.95

Monkey Mountain is the latest release in the Extreme Adventures series. I’ve read all the books and I have to admit up front, I’m a fan. Extreme Adventures books are packed full of action. Every chapter ending is a nail-biting cliff-hanger and even reluctant readers won’t want to stop there. Monkey Mountain is no exception to the Extreme Adventure rule.

Sam Fox is on a school excursion to Borneo to visit a dormant volcano. Except the volcano decides to spit ash – with Sam caught on a ledge inside the crater while attempting to rescue a friend’s fallen backpack. With the help of his teacher, Mr Griffin, Sam scrambles to safety but his problems aren’t over. Falling molten rock, lava flows, aggressive monkeys, sharks and crocodiles. Did I mention the pirates? The pace is nerve-wracking and frantic but the story never sounds contrived or overdone.

Fast, furious and fun. Girls will enjoy Monkey Mountain but boys will love it and start asking for the rest of the series. The pacing will drag the readers in and the storytelling will keep them there. Particularly recommended for reluctant boy readers.

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