Book Title: The Invasion of Crooked Oak (available here)
Author: Dan Smith
Illustrator: Chris King
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Publication Date: Sept 2020
Most Suitable for: Upper KS2
Reviewer: David McBride
The Invasion of Crooked Oak is a fast paced sci-fi adventure that will appeal to older KS2 children who like Dr Who.
The town of Crooked Oak is experiencing some strange events. The inhabitants are acting weird. Their eyes are blank, their voices are strange and they won’t eat. What is happening? Is this linked to the local fracking site that is near the town? Nancy, Pete and Krish race to find out what is happening and try to stop it before it is too late. However, events take a turn for the worst and the strange happenings occur far too close to home for comfort.
This is an interesting book as it taps into current ecological themes, namely fracking, but this is mentioned in a factual way which will make children aware of the issue. Dan Smith uses wonderful descriptive language, which will inspire children in their own writing.
As ever with Barrington Stoke books, it is an accessible book, printed with a dyslexia friendly font on tinted paper. The illustrations by Chris King really add to the atmosphere of the book and also bring to life the details contained in the descriptive writing.
The children I read this story to absolutely loved it - and moaned for more at the end of each session as I finished. Each chapter ended on a cliffhanger so it left them eagerly anticipating the next instalment. This was a definite hit!
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to our Review Panel member for reviewing it.
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