Perth Writers Festival Blog

Kid Curator Book Review: Ella Popham

Friday 10 March 2017

Our Kid Curator Ella Popham reviews the book Friday Barnes, Danger Ahead by R.A. Spratt.

You would think school camp is a privilege and lots of fun. You would be wrong.

The book Friday Barnes, Danger Ahead written by R.A. Spratt and published this year by Random House Australia, is a story where mysteries pop up everywhere when Friday and her friends find out that school camp this year is not fun, cool or even fair. Instead it is unfair, dangerous and the complete opposite of fun.

A great thing about this book is that there is a main mystery and lots of other mini-mysteries just popping up all around the place. These mysteries are solved by Friday Barnes, a teenage sleuth that can’t resist solving a good mystery. She is joined by her friends: Ian (Friday and Ian have a secret crush on each other), Melanie (Friday’s best friend who likes nothing more than having a good nap) and, finally, her other friends who help on camp (Harvey, Susan, Patel and Wai-Yi).

When you think you have the mystery all figured out, a cool twist throws you totally off track and makes you think: 'What?? I didn’t expect that to happen.' So always expect to be surprised while you’re reading this fabulous book. For example, strange smells, glowing things and a ghost story. They may seem like three totally random things that all go off in different directions when they really are all pointing towards the same thing, all going down the same path until you find a part in the book where all these things make obvious sense.

Something else that won’t make sense until you’ve read and understood the book is that Camp Courage is an extremely mysterious place. Even if it doesn’t say 'heaps of mysteries right here' it is a place where you find out that friends are actually foes and foes can be friends.

R.A. Spratt has written the Friday Barnes series quite recently but I am certainly glad she did. This glorious book scores a 9½–10 rating from me and I think everyone should read this amazing, wonderful and most of all mysterious series, guaranteed to make the hairs on the back of your neck tingle.