Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

The Invasion of Crooked Oak by Dan Smith & illustrated by Chris King

Lose yourself in this chilling mystery of an abandoned fracking site, unusual smells and adults behaving strangely. As soon as readers pick up this engaging book, they will be pulled in by the intensity of the cover, the very first chapter title, “Something Strange”, and the characters’ interest in the intriguing “Mystery Shed” website. Pete and Krish are desperate for something extraordinary to happen in their ordinary village.

For months, everyone in Crooked Oak has been furious about the fracking site. Worried about it damaging the environment, causing earthquakes and poisoning the drinking water, protesters have been raising the alarm and ostracising anyone who works there. Suddenly, the site is shut down and things begin to change. Can Pete, Krish and Nancy find out what’s going on and stop it before it’s too late? They’ll need to use all of their knowledge, investigation skills and daring to work out who they can trust and help each other find the answers.

Fans of horror, science fiction and mystery will love this fast-moving story. The explanation of Hydraulic Fracturing (fracking) is very current and will interest readers who are keen to protect the environment and learn more about important issues.  As a whole, this book looks grown-up and with Year 8 characters, it bridges the gap from primary to secondary beautifully. The exciting story is accessible and is resolved fairly quickly but in an extremely satisfying manner. This book is sure to help more reluctant readers find their reading spark, building their confidence with manageable chapters and text. It will be published with dyslexia friendly font and colours to ensure everyone can access the heart-stopping adventure.

Thank you to Barrington Stoke for this deliciously creepy book!

Click on the cover below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

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