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Christopher Majka and Sheilagh Hunt
Halifax, Formac Publishing, 1991. 124pp, paper, $6.95
ISBN 0-88780-082-3. CIP

Grades 3 to 6/Ages 8 to 11

Reviewed by Alison Mews.

Volume 20 Number 2
1992 March

Prudence Valiant is an intrepid young girl of indeterminate age who has a series of remarkable adventures in this fast-paced story. Pru's spirited inde­pendence is commendable as is the author's attempt to create an unusual individual who flies a vintage single-prop airplane (complete with flying hat with whirligig), sings operatic arias loudly, and wears neon orange sneak­ers. Unfortunately, the book is fraught with inconsistencies, unbelievable coincidences and tired cliches.

Unlikely holograms, which defy known tenets of physics (such as the ability to interact with real people), form an integral part of the plot. Although an errant cloud is blamed for rendering one hologram temporarily invisible (because the projector is sun-powered), the previous hologram was displayed at night, and further holograms are indoors.

Despite all the obstacles thrown her way, Prudence, like a female James Bond, manages to outwit the bumbling villains, deliver the package to her destination, and save the Sultan's country. This action-packed story will appeal to many young readers; how­ever, it is a marginal purchase for schools and libraries.

Alison Mews, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Nfld.
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