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Copyrights: Biggar, L&G, Van Miers Productions circa 1989-2014
by Julia Hands
Holidaying on the beautiful island of Majorca with his family, 11-year old Steve Parker accepts an invitation from 12-year old Majorcan Maria to see the Black vultures nesting in the cliffs.
He swiftly becomes embroiled with a dangerous gang of diamond smugglers with links to international terrorism and corruption in high places. read more…
At first look the bright colours of the book attract you to it. The drawing is obviously the main part of the plot and you can see how the story will develop from the start. The black of the back cover and spine contrast a lot with the front cover illustrations. Which can be perceived as a bad thing as it’ll ill-fitting or a good thing as it draws the attention to the front. The fact that the front picture is drawn by hand not computer is unique as well. I would like to think that a blurb should be on the back and an author’s potted bio should be in the book at the last/first page.
Presentation of the book: 4.5/5
The first paragraph though it is factual, it seems to explain things that the audience didn’t need to know. The line about when the pageant started was pointless and gave the reader the impression the book would be boring. The description however was clear and powerful and the use of adjectives created a very vivid image in the readers mind. I think that the author needs to get a clearer image of the target audience. The age of characters suggests the book is for 11/13 year olds yet the choice of words is way too mature. The author needs to understand that only a couple of young teenagers would understand the words and it sounds as if the story is not set in the late 21st century: More the early 20th. The wording used is not appropriate for the book, as most children reading a book don’t want to be getting out a dictionary every time they read. If characters were older the book would easily pass for a book aimed at 16 year olds. I found the lines under the words that were said differently very tedious as most readers like to imagine how the words would be said themselves and the author could have used other techniques than putting a line under it.
Also when Steve’s dad is describing him to the police he says he had a cream top on where the illustrations clearly show a yellow top.
The plot however is very interesting and imaginative: this keeps the reader persistently reading the book. I found the characters very real, especially Becky, so the reader feels like this story could be happening to you. The book has a very clear structure and is overall very enjoyable.
Rate for actual plot: 4.5/5
Rate for wording: 2/5
Rate for overall book: 4.2/5
Alice Graham, 14
Van Miers Productions have developed a philosophy that permeates our entire work ethic. We pride ourselves on being the ultimate flexible print providers and can accommodate late changes, murderous deadlines and still respond to virtually any crisis.
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