Kensy and Max 10: Time’s Up
400pp., pbk., RRP $A21.00
Imagine getting in a car in one country and waking up in a strange place in another! That’s the beginning of a whole new adventure for twins Kensy and Max who started their journey in Zermatt, Switzerland and 16 hours later find themselves in the grounds of an unfamiliar mansion in England. While it seems their carer Fitz knows his way around as he follows an unfamiliar fellow wearing a red dressing gown with matching slippers inside and up the stairs, Max is mystified but the warmth and comfort of a large, soft bed is too tempting and he is soon asleep again. But when they wake in the morning to find themselves locked in the mystery deepens and the adventures begin…
That was the premise of the first in this dramatic series for independent readers when it was published in 2018 and now, five years later, the final in the collection has now been released.
Someone has been plotting to bring down the Spencers ever since Kensy and Max were thrust into the secret world of Pharos, but they’ve always managed to stay one step ahead of their attackers . . . until now. As members of the twins’ inner circle – and Pharos’s top agents – start to go missing, it quickly becomes clear that someone is staging a coup. Soon Kensy and Max are on their own, racing to get to the bottom of the terrible situation before the organisation completely falls apart. And before their family is gone forever.
And testament to a quality series, the final is not only as engaging as the first but it still has those initial readers intrigued to find out what happens. Author Jackie French once told my class that the secret to writing a book that will hook the reader is to create characters that the readers cares enough about to want to continue reading to find out what happens to them, and Jacqueline Harvey has certainly done this in this series, as my Ms 16 will testify, saying yes to having this copy when I offered it! Modern, original, fast-moving and sassy, independent characters who could be them make this one of the most popular and enduring series for young readers for some time.
The benefits of series in a child’s reading development have been discussed on this blog often,. Apart from there being a next-read that is greeted with anticipation, series allow the reader to bring their prior knowledge of the characters, relationships, situation and settings to the story immediately allowing them to presume and predict, building both comprehension and fluency skills. So having a quality series of 10 solid reads available will give the young reader a promise of being able to indulge their interest for weeks , if not months.