Review Blog

Jul 31 2014

You choose series by George Ivanoff

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Random House Australia Children's, 2014.
The treasure of Dead Man's Cove. ISBN: 9780857983831.
Mayhem at Magic School. ISBN: 9780857983848.
Maze of doom. ISBN: 9780857983855.
The haunting of Spook House. ISBN: 9780857983862.
(Age: 9+) Highly recommended.
So I received the first couple of books in this series a few weeks ago, in the madness of term time and put them to one side as others were in line first. Then during last week the next two arrived and I thought to myself, 'Self you better get cracking on those'. Dutifully I put the pile of four on the side of my desk where they could not be ignored and I could get to them sometime over a busy weekend.
Cut to Saturday afternoon with 15 year old grandson staying over to earn some pocket money doing Gran chores, like the yard, washing the car etc. Now, our Lochie is a good egg - polite, a hard worker, good to his Mum and mostly to his little sister, loves his dog with a passion and likes mine pretty well too - but not what you would call a reader. Although, apparently during the first week of holidays (last week) he did tear himself away from the Xbox long enough to read a Manga book I gave him last week.
Taking a cool drink break during the afternoon of chores, he picked up the first You choose from the top of the pile and sat down and read it straight through, commenting at the end 'That was a great story - lots of fun picking what you will do next!' and promptly grabbed the next one and read that! What the...???? He's coming back next weekend to stay over another night as we are going to the Medieval Festival and is going to read the next two then. As Yoda would say 'Stunned I am'.
Oddly enough, his Mum wasn't much of a reader as a kid either - until we discovered some terrific Famous five 'choose your own adventure' books and then she never stopped reading.
So all I have to say is... George Ivanoff, if you can get this kid switched onto a good read when he's railed against books his entire life, then you are definitely on a winner! These ones are coming to school with me for sure, for a great book talk with the boys after the holidays.
Well, about the books then. As you can tell by the titles each one has a different theme and setting - all of which are very boy-appealing particularly. With engaging illustrations, maps and the like they are easy to read and particularly suitable as read alouds as each Pathway episode is brief (for those quick ten minute fill ins especially). Naturally the action is fast-paced as a result and this is definitely a plus for those reluctant readers who don't like getting bogged down.
I think these are a must for your library shelves and in fact, in multiples, as once the word is out they will be gobbled up quickly.
Highly recommended by Lochlan for boys aged 9 and upwards.
Teaching notes are available from Random House and why not take a look at George's website as well. Your students may be familiar with George from his appearance on ABC3.
Sue Warren

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