Wired Up series by various authors

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A and C Black, London, 2012.
Kidnap by Chris Powling. ISBN 978 1 4081 4260 8.
Seconds out by Dan Tunstall. ISBN 978 1 4081 5270 6.
Petrify by Beth Chambers. ISBN 978 1 40821 5268 6.
(Ages 11+) Recommended. High interest, low literacy.
Kidnap by Chris Powling is a straight forward story of two rich kids being tutored with a third child, the son of the handyman at their mansion. When kidnappers take all three, including their teacher, Adam is disparaging of Leo, the third child, and watches him for hints that he is in league with the kidnappers. After the teacher is killed, the three are taken to the top of an apartment building, where they wait for the money to be delivered. A neat story of not judging people by their wealth is shown here as Adam learns to reappraise Leo.
In Seconds out, 15 year old Andy is in trouble again,using his fists to prove he is the hard man amongst the year 10s. When the principal tells him to go to the local boxing club, he is at first hesitant. After having the wind knocked out of him by a much weaker student at the club, he storms out but but talking to the boy at school shows him that not all take it so personally. A deft story about self image and keeping up appearances, this story shows us a lad at the crossroads, and taking steps not to follow in his father's footsteps.
Petrify too, will cause its readers to watch their backs as new boy, Josh tries to prove that he is not scared by the story of the witch in the community. The story revolves around it drinking blood, and when scary things happen, Josh and his friends need to be on their guard.
A companion series to Wired (A and C Black), and similar to Lightning Strikes (Barrington Stokes), this series will appeal to kids with lower literacy levels but wanting something more meaty than the usual stories written for them. They will be very handy to have available for readers, and a box set of them in the classroom will be useful.
Fran Knight