Friday, 21 March 2008

Super Freak

SUPER FREAK Brian Falkner, Mallinson Rendel, 191 pages, paperback, NZ$16.95 ISBN 0-908783-98-1SIL

Brian Falkner writes amusing adventure novels about boys with unusual talents, who all attend the same school in Auckland. Oddly enough Jacob’s special ability – he can influence people’s thoughts enough to make his French teacher write ‘knickers’ on the board – is not central to Super Freak. Instead this novel describes how the growth of friendship between Jacob and another bullied outsider, Ben, brings them each a sense of their own self-worth. Both gain the courage to aim high: Ben stands for the School Council, and Jacob asks Erica to come out with him.

Meanwhile Ben has a secret plan involving the misuse of his mental powers, which makes this a cheerful page-turner for young readers. Don’t miss the Appendix.

Trevor Agnew

This review first appeared in The Press, Christchurch, New Zealand.

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