Kimono Code by Susannah McFarlane
EJ12 Girl Hero. Scholastic Australia, 2012. ISBN: 9781921931154
Emma Jacks, also known as Special Agent EJ12, battles with a fellow SHINE agent, the mean girl, Nema, on a regular basis but especially when they are taking part in karate classes. EJ fails to understand why Nema is so cruel and yet never seems to be caught out by the adults. When she receives her orders for her next mission, EJ needs to focus on the job at hand and not her friends and classmates. She soon finds herself in Japan, entrusted with the task of saving the cherry blossoms from being destroyed by the members of the evil agency, SHADOW.
With this being the 14th title in the series, it would appear that young girls have embraced the EJ12 books as being accessible and entertaining reads. These can perhaps be seen as the girls' alternative to the Zac Power books which have won over many young boys. Kimono Code contains some positive messages about the environment and addresses the topic of bullying with its causes and consequences in a thoughtful manner. Acceptance of oneself and others, despite their insecurities is another theme which could be teased out. This is another series which is rarely on the shelves in school libraries so has obviously struck a chord with the younger independent readers.