Friday, May 4, 2007

The 7 Professors of the Far North by John Fardell

I recommend this book for: grade 4-6

This is a book I read because it's on our summer reading list, and I heartily approve the choice on this one! Sam, an 11-year old dying for adventure, is not looking forward to spending his Easter holidays at Great Aunt Roberta's house while his parents attend a conference. Luckily, they surprise him with allowing him to stay with the slightly batty Professor Ampersand, an inventor who also has charge over his young teenaged niece and nephew, Zara and Ben. The three children become fast friends, and it's a good thing, because they're going to go through a lot together! An old friend turned enemy, Professor Murdo, kidnaps Ampersand and five other professors who once all worked together, trying to build a university in the far north. Murdo attempted to kill them all once by leaving them exposed to the elements, but some great secret allowed them to get safely back to civilization. Now, he is working on his evil project again, and he wants to eliminate the 6 professors who might stand in his way. Sam, Zara, and Ben have only one clue to follow to save the professors - a map and some code words. Can they survive the trip to the Arctic and save the professors, not to mention the world?

This was a really fun read - I can see why it was nominated for the Black Eyed Susan award this year. The adventure is implausible, but it has enough to detail to make it seem possible, and the unique characters are fantastic. I especially liked Nika, the one-armed Russian girl who won a high-tech submarine from a mob boss in a game of canasta and can drive anything. It should appeal to boys and girls, as the characters of both sexes are strong and interesting, and the adventure is creative and shows that kids really can do anything!

Don't believe me? Read legitimate reviews.

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