A blog that discusses literature for young people.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

"Lionboy: The Chase" by Zizou Corder

Lionboy: The Chase is the second book in a trilogy about Charlie Ashanti, the boy who can speak cat.

The series is set in the future when an asthma epidemic has taken over the world and petrol fuelled cars are almost non-existent. Charlie is the product of an African father and an English mother who are living a perfectly happy life in England where they have been working on a cure for asthma. But then they are kidnapped by the wicked Rafi and although Charlie escapes, his parents are taken to a 'Corporacy community' where their scientific discoveries are swept under the carpet and they are chemically encouraged to conform.

In this, the second book in the series, Charlie has freed 6 lions from a floating circus and is helping them find their way home to Africa whilst he is also trying to track down his parents.

Lionboy: The Chase is a pacey story that weaves fantasy elements into an action adventure whilst at the same time encouraging young readers to think about moral and environmental issues. I think that this book could be an interesting starting point for discussions on the treatment of circus animals, the power wielded by multi-national corporations and inter-racial harmony.

The only problem I had with this book was trying to determine a suitable audience. I felt that the story itself was most suited to an 8-12 year-old age group but the language and length of the book may restrict it to a slightly older audience.

Zizou Corder is a pen name for the mother/daughter team responsible for the Lionboy trilogy. To read an interview with the authors, click here.

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