Sunday, April 12, 2009

Archie Saves The day, By Leonie Thorpe (Harper Collins) 2009
This is the second book about Archie by Leonie Thorpe. While it is marketed as one book, it is in fact two separate stories with the same main character.
In the first story, Archie is unwittingly roped into helping a local kid save his grandad's house from the clutches of a mortgagee sale. Archie and Ted have to come up with ways to make money. Quickly. After attempts at busking and online auctions, they finally discover that granddad was sitting on a goldmine all along. It’s a sweet tale of helping others and introduces us to some interesting characters – my favourite is the paranoid Italian restaurateur who thinks everyone is out to steal his secret family recipe.
In the second story, bad-boy Troy is being punished by the local policeman by having to go to the Sea Scouts group. Afraid of the water and with a bad attitude to boot, it looked like Troy’s time with the group would end badly.
I kept waiting for Archie to save the day (hence the title of the book), but this story was really Troy and Archie’s tale about overcoming fear.
Though set in New Zealand, the stories don’t have a particular parochial feel, which would help their appeal in overseas markets. Both genders would enjoy this book, although the topics (fishing & boating) would probably enrapt boys rather than girls. Archie is a loveable character (if somewhat pitiable) and I’m sure we’ll see plenty more of Archie in future tales.
Reviewed by Christine Hurst

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