'Gripping and unpredictable, with a hero you won't forget.' - John Boyne, author of The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas An old man tells his grandson that there is a battle raging inside him, inside all of us. A terrible battle between two wolves. One wolf is bad – pride, jealousy, greed. The other wolf is good – kindness, hope, truth. The child asks, ‘Who will win?' The grandfather answers simply, ‘The one you feed.' One afternoon, police officers show up at Ben Silver's front door. Minutes after they leave, his parents arrive home. Ben and his little sister Olive are bundled into the car and told they're going on a holiday. But are they? It doesn't take long for Ben to realise that his parents are in trouble. Ben's always dreamt of becoming a detective – his dad even calls him ‘Cop'. Now Ben gathers evidence and tries to uncover what his parents have done. The problem is, if he figures it out, what does he do? Tell someone? Or keep the secret and live life on the run? 'A high stakes adventure that will keep you guessing and breathless until the very end.' Michael Gerard Bauer, author of Don't Call Me Ishmael
Twelve-year-old Ben has always wanted to be a detective, his dad even calls him "Cop". Then one afternoon real police officers turn up at the front door looking for Ben's parents. Shortly after they leave, Ben's parents arrive in a flurry of activity - the family is going on a holiday and must leave immediately. Ben is confused and a little wary but goes along with the story. It does not take long for him to realise that something is wrong, his parents are in trouble, and he is determined to find out the real story. But what happens when he learns the truth? If they are in trouble, should he turn them in? Or should he protect his family?
This is a gripping mystery story in which a young boy is given some heavy responsibilities by some irresponsible parents. Ben is determined and protective of his younger sister, against a father who is sometimes physically and emotionally abusive. Unable to understand why his mother does not stick up for her children, Ben is losing patience with her and beginning to embrace his own independence as an almost-young adult. We are, however, often reminded that he is still a child - often uncertain and frightened. As the family takes refuge in a remote mountain shack, Ben becomes increasingly aware of the strange situation the family is in and the decisions he must make in order to protect himself and his sister. Ben is faced with a difficult moral dilemma and one that could provoke some interesting discussions in the classroom. This gives some extra substance to what is already a fast-paced and sometimes dramatic thriller, great for reluctant readers and more able readers alike. Recommended for competant readers aged 10-12 and perhaps more reluctant and lower level readers aged 12-14.
Review by Erin