Sunday, April 26, 2009

Zac Power - a super secret agent for young readers

Action, adventure, cool gadgets and exciting death-defying missions - what more can a kid want? Zac Power has been my 2nd grade daughter's favorite series this year. It's the perfect hook for any reluctant reader in search of a new series.
Zac Power #1: Poison Island
by H.I. Larry
Feiwel and Friends, 2008. 96 pages.
ages 6 - 9 (3rd grade)
or a fun read-aloud for 1st graders
Zac Power's family works for the G.I.B.: the Government Investigation Bureau. Zac and his family all work to help solve international crimes in death-defying missions. In this episode, the first of four published in the U.S., Zac must track down Dr. Drastic, an evil mad scientist, before he sells Solution X to the world's government. What is Solution X? Boil the poison from poison dart frogs, add a few secret ingredients, and you have a super secret cure for every type of disease that ever existed. Now Dr. Drastic is going to blackmail the world's governments, charging them one million dollars each for the recipe!

The writing is clear, action-packed stuff:
"Zac took a flying leap out of the airlock and into the black night.

A split second later, Zac was falling at 200 miles an hour. Wind rushed past him. It roared in his ears. It sucked his cheeks back hard against his skull.

Zac tugged his rip cord and his parachute opened.

This book will appeal to 2nd and 3rd graders who love action and adventure, but want a shorter book. I think it would be fantastic for reluctant readers. Sometimes the vocabulary is a bit advanced with Zac's crazy gadgets (book two is all about an amphibious submersible vehicle). But the story and adventure will carry them through. It would also be a fun read-aloud for kindergartners and 1st graders.

Check out the website for more gadget info: It's great for kids to explore.

This series was originally published in Australia, but is slowly being released in the U.S. Find it at Amazon.

A special thanks to Doret at the HappyNappyBookseller for these copies (check out her recommendations - she has excellent taste in children's books). You made my 7-year-old's day when she discovered these on my desk. She's clamoring for the rest in the series - I think I'm going to have to find a friend in Australia to send them to us!

This books is available online at Amazon. If you make a purchase by clicking through to Amazon, Great Kid Books receives a small percentage, which will be used to buy more books to review.


  1. Glad you liked them. The Zac Power books are so much fun. Will your daughter let you add them to your classroom library?

  2. Yes, they're in the school library now. I think they'll spread through the 2nd grade like wildfire! Thanks so much.