- Publication date:1 August 2011
- Format:B format paperback
- Genre: adventure fiction
- Age guide: Younger Readers, 8+
By J.E. Fison
Everyone wants to have cool new stuff. Right? So when Jack Wilde and his friends find a bag full of money at Hazard River, it looks like all of their dreams have come true. But as they soon discover, money doesn’t always bring happiness. Sometimes, it buys a whole lot of trouble.
Cover designed by Grant Gittus.
Jenny Mounfield –
“I have always wanted to be rich. Richer than the Queen? No, not that rich—just to have loads of money, that’s all I ask.”
When Jack’s brother, Ben, finds a bag full of money hidden in the mangroves, Jack thinks all his dreams have come true. But before he has finished working out ways to spend the dosh, Lachlan and Mimi find out and things get complicated. Deciding the money must belong to criminals, the kids figure out a plan to find out for certain. And if they’re right, they reason, it surely won’t be wrong to keep the money for themselves. But, of course, nothing is ever that simple.
Through a group of engaging characters, Fison uses the Hazard River series to tackle issue of environment and animal welfare. Previous titles: Shark Frenzy, Snake Surprise and Tiger Terror all relate to the capture, illegal sale and mistreatment of animals. Like, Toads’ Revenge, Bat Attack deals with environmental matters by exploring the destruction of a natural habitat for profit. Fison’s writing is fresh, tight and easily absorbed. Action and humour abound, and are the reasons this series works so well. While the message in these books is clear, it isn’t in any way preachy—nor is the humour forced. The child characters are all well-developed, each with a distinct personality, which is something all too often glazed over in such short fiction.
No stranger to adventure herself, Fison draws on her own experiences trekking through Africa and the jungles of Borneo in writing this series. With extensive experience as a news reporter in Australia, the UK and Asia, she has eaten fried grasshoppers, shaken hands with an orang-utan and been caught in the middle of an elephant battle. Her fiction has been short and long-listed for various awards.
In just a few short years, fledgling publisher, Ford Street, has managed to release an impressive collection of fiction and non-fiction for young people. Covering genres from SF and fantasy through to contemporary realism, and with themes ranging from gender reassignment to the environment, this publisher really does have something for every reading taste.