Monday, April 02, 2007

Review: Nathan Fox: Dangerous Times

Nathan Fox: Dangerous Times is a rip-roaring historical adventure for the Middle Grade reader.

L. Brittney places her hero, Nathan Fox, squarely into the world of William Shakespeare and Othello. Performing as a child actor, Fox is handpicked by Queen Elizabeth's master spy, John Pearce, to train for a mission in Venice. He's whisked away to London for in-depth study in a series of chapters children will enjoy greatly. At Master Robey's school, Nathan learns to fight with swords and guns, studies cryptography and stealth techniques, and comes into contact with a variety of colorful spies and weapons experts. Then he's on his way to Venice and into the world of international intrigue and personal treachery. (Iago, anyone?)

While adult readers know Othello's story, the intrigue and history of Venice and London in the age of Queen Elizabeth will thrill young readers. Brittney is especially skilled at atmosphere--bringing the filthy streets and the glamorous fashions of Venice to life. Nathan is an eager participant in dangerous missions, his joy only dampened when his older sister Marie is tapped to serve on the Venice mission as well. Nathan Fox: Dangerous Times is the first in a series and Nathan is sure to have many exciting adventures in the future.

If we can speak of a book's charisma, Nathan Fox has what Harry Potter and Percy Jackson share: compelling characters, a definite sense of place, and non-stop action. Pair this one with a retelling of Othello in a fourth- to sixth-grade classroom and you'll have a group of excited readers.
Michele Fry recently reviewed Nathan Fox: Dangerous Times for The Edge of the Forest.

Check out the Nathan Fox website!

Nathan Fox: Dangerous Times was shortlisted for the 2007 Waterstone's Children's Book Prize.

ETA: Nathan Fox is currently available in the U.K. and the U.K. edition is available through Amazon-Canada. The U.S. edition is being edited and should be out in Spring 2008.