________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 34. . . .May 2, 2014


Sky High. (Zac Power).

H. I. Larry. Illustrated by Andy Hook.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2013.
90 pp., pbk., $5.99.
ISBN 978-1-4431-2877-3.

Grades 2- 5 / Ages 7-10.

Review by Lisa Case.

**** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



Hovering just above Leon’s magnified hand, tiny wings fluttering, was what looked like a one-eyed insect, except that it was made out of metal.

“Oh,” said Zac. “What is it?”

“This,” said Leon proudly, “is a NanoCam, the latest in GIB surveillance technology. Tiny, remote-controlled spy cameras, invisible to the naked eye. They’re so incredibly fast, and because they’re so small, we can send them-”

“Pretty much anywhere,” said Zac.

“Exactly,” said Leon. “The down side is that they’re incredibly expensive to produce. Right now, this is only one of two in the world. Professor Voler has the other one, and we need you to get it back.”


Zac Power is back in another exciting adventure. Sky High is the latest book in the “Zac Power” series which features Zac Power who is just like any other 12-year-old boy. He has to go to school, keep his room clean, do his chores – and save the world! Zac and his brother, Leon, are both members of an elite agency known as the Government Investigation Bureau (GIB). Zac is a top spy, and Leon is a technical officer - it is Leon’s job to create gadgets and organize missions.

internal art     Zac’s new mission is to get back the technology that Professor Voler has stolen from GIB and stop him before he can carry out his evil plan. This is not as easy as it would seem because Zac must retrieve the item from Professor Voler’s private jet. The problem? The jet is on the move, and it is invisible. Zac has 24 hours to get on the jet, retrieve the microscopic NanoCam, stop Professor Voler from breaking into the GIB vault, get back home and do some vacuuming - the hard way.

     Zac Power missions are full of adventure and espionage, and the books are very enjoyable. These adventures are each written by different authors, but the authors all use ‘H.I. Larry’ as a pseudonym.

     These stories are well-written and have incredibly detailed drawings. The font selected is easy to read and nicely spaced, so it is not overwhelming for children who are either beginning to read or who may struggle. Because the chapters are short, anywhere from 8-12 pages, it is possible for a child to easily complete a chapter. The illustrations are very engaging and tie directly into the story. The visuals are very detailed and are labelled so that the reader gets a real sense of the gadgets that Zac uses. Detailed images in this episode include a blueprint of the GIB NanoCam, GIB’s Ultra-Absorbent Mini-Towel, the ‘Voler-Roller’ Laser Security Orb, and a diagram of the parachute pants. The reader will become fully immersed in the world of Zac Power and feel excitement as he tries to make it home on time.

     Zac Power books can be enjoyed by many age groups. The short chapters make this book ideal for children just beginning to read chapter books, but they are also books that some of our older students enjoy. The stories are written with wording and a storyline that will be agreeable for any child that enjoys secret agent stories. Detailed illustrations also help expand the story's plot, and this makes the book a great option for children that have English as a second language.

     The “Zac Power” series is a great addition to all school libraries as well as a good addition to home collections.

Highly Recommended.

Lisa Case is an elementary/junior high school librarian from Calgary, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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