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Hal Junior, Book 1: The Secret Signal Paperback – June 19, 2012
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"A great Sci/Fi intro book for elementary students! A very fun read, and the level is just right for late-early readers." novelnaut.com
"Sure to entertain and delight any fan." - Midwest Book Review
From the Author
What happened to Junior science fiction?
Exciting, aspirational and mind-blowing ... young readers should be devouring science fiction, yet new releases in this genre are as rare as a battery-powered space shuttle.
Over the past few years I've promoted reading and writing at countless schools, libraries and literary events. Young readers - boys AND girls - are fascinated by science fiction, yet they rarely get the chance to read it!
So, I decided enough was enough, and I put my adult series on hold to write the kind of science fiction I would have devoured as a ten-year-old.
The result is Hal Junior: The Secret Signal, a funny, fast-moving novel set in the distant future. It's written in a similar style to my Hal Spacejock books, and doesn't talk down to younger readers. I set out to write a realistic portrayal of life in the distant future, as experienced by a boy of 10 or 11. Well, realistic apart from bungie-jumping with elastic shoelaces, and that home-made space cannon ...
There are more than 40 illustrations, sight gags and technical diagrams scattered throughout the book, many of them explaining concepts in the text. There are also plans for the world's most acrobatic paper plane.
Judging by the great feedback I've had from teachers and librarians, Hal Junior will really appeal to confident readers aged 8+. Parents seem to love it too ...
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Top Customer Reviews
Other reviewers have probably given you the plot synopsis so I won't go into that, but simply that it kept me highly entertained for several hours as I tried not to rip through the book too fast since it is a kids book.
Should you buy this for your young kid? Yes! Is there anything you should be concerned about language wise? Some of the phraseology is definitely British but other than that, no. Is there anything really objectionable? Only that the main character is a little goofy and absent minded and would rather be imagining he's some interstellar spaceman, but what boy his age (8-12) doesn't? Will you be shelling out more cash on the next book? Oh yes, but you'll be delighted to hear your little one laughing their heads off from all the inanity that ensues in the story. Why are you still reading my review? Get it and give your little spacekid some much deserved laughs.
BTW: Definitely recommend all the Hal Spacejock (Adult) novels - 6/5 stars for each of them! (Caveat - I'm up to novel 6 & loving them).
The story is set on a space station which felt realistic and industrial.
The story zips along with lots of laughs, mysteries and adventure. It's like Dennis the Menace in space, great fun!
Hal Junior is great as the hero. I howled with laughter at his chemistry homework. Stinky Binn is good as the nerdy genius sidekick. The villains are suitably cartoony. I enjoyed the Teacher robot, too.
I liked the cartoon cover of this book and loved the illustrations. They worked well even on kindle and added a new dimension of humour to the story. It's just the right length for younger readers.
I bought a kindle copy of this book because I'd enjoyed the "Hal Spacejock" story so much. I liked The Secret Signal so much that I've bought a paperpack version of it too for our class library. I had to buy it on the Amazon US site and pay shipping to the UK, but I know that the kids in my class will just love this. It doesn't come any more highly recommended than that!
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