Saturday, October 12, 2013

A new Young Adult novel from Fleur Beale

Speed Freak by Fleur Beale, Random House NZ

Fleur Beale has produced another very readable story in her long line of books for boys. I’m not the target audience (it’s aimed at boys of about 12 to 15, and maybe some girls as well) but I was happily engrossed as I worked through it. It’s set in the world of kart racing, and knowing Fleur, the details will be 100% authentic. The hero is 15-year-old Archie who’s an ace driver but is competing against a cheating rival to win a chance to race in Europe. Alongside the theme of racing ethics there’s also a theme that focuses on family issues. In this case, Archie’s (divorced) father has invited his lady friend to move in, together with her 7-year-old son, Felix. The trouble is that she hates all motor sports and doesn’t want to let Felix near a track. But Felix is desperate to become a kart driver like Archie. There’s also the situation involving Silver, a girl racer who’s coping with emotional problems and drives like a maniac... The characters are believable, the pace is fast, the story is satisfying. It’s a winner!

Fleur Beale is a former high school teacher and the award-winning author of more than 40 books for children and young adults.(Also available as an e-book)
Teaching Notes here

ISBN 978 1 77553 470 9 $19.99 Pb   
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

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