Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ben's Pick of the Week: Secret Agent Jack Stalwart

Recently Ben discovered the Secret Agent Jack Stalwart series by Elizabeth Singer Hunt at the library.  Jack Stalwart is a nine-year-old Secret Agent for the GPF.  His older brother, Max, went on a secret mission and has disappeared.  In Jack's quest to find Max, he finds himself transported to countries all over the world solving mysteries.  The series has been named a "must read" for boys by the British Education Secretary.

Currently, there are fourteen books in the series taking Jack everywhere from Nepal to the Arctic to France.  It does not seem that the books necessarily need to be read in order, and we started with The Pursuit of the Ivory Poachers which takes place in Kenya.  The plot of the book was pretty simple.  Jack arrives in Kenya and learns that someone is illegally poaching elephant tusks.  Eventually, he finds the culprit.  The excitement of the story lies in all the secret gadgets Jack has at his disposal to help him get out of trouble and outsmart the bad guys.  As this book was set in Kenya, it also had a lot about animals which Ben enjoyed - and it sparked a discussion about poaching and endangered animals (also started back when we read Danny the Champion of the World).

We've just started on The Search for the Sunken Treasure set in Australia (a country/continent Ben loves thanks to Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day).  In this one, Jack investigates the disappearance of a diver off the Great Barrier Reef.  Since we've been focused on maps and geography lately, these books have been an unintended supplement to our work, and Ben has enjoyed looking at the world map on his wall as we read through the books and talk about Jack's travels.

Ben went a little crazy checking out books this week, so we also have Japan, Cambodia, and Great Britain adventures to look forward to in the upcoming weeks.

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