By Sandy Fussell
Published by Walker Books Australia
When Sandy Fussell’s fourth Samurai Kids’ book, Monkey Fist arrived in my letter box this week I confess that I felt a combination of excitement and guilt.
I interviewed Sandy and main character Niya on my blog http://tips4youngwriters.wordpress.com when Monkey Fist was first released on 1st August. After that intriguing interview, I couldn’t wait to sit down and read this book – that was the exciting part.
The guilt was due to the fact that my own ‘writerly’ activities had kept me so busy that I’d run out of time to read Samurai Kids number 3, Shaolin Tiger. Fortunately, as I soon discovered, it doesn’t matter whether you have read all or none of the Samurai Kids’ books, Monkey Fist is a book you can enjoy in its own right.
When Kyoko, one of the Samurai Kids is kidnapped, the others must examine their own weaknesses, and call on their greatest strengths if they are to set her free. Although Monkey Fist features the well-loved characters from the previous books, it is very much a complete adventure on it own.
There were so many things to engage the reader in Monkey Fist; the action, the endearing characters, the tension, and the visual descriptions of places and events. Sandy is meticulous in her attention to detail and Monkey Fist is another thoroughly researched book that takes the reader into an amazing world.
One of the things I find most appealing about the Samurai Kids’ books is that they are able to dispense great wisdom without talking down to, or overwhelming their readers.
Whether they have read all or none of the Samurai Kids series, children aged 8-12 (and beyond) will find Monkey Fist a gripping and thought provoking experience.