________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 39 . . . . June 12, 2015


Swamp Race. (Zac Power).

H. I. Larry. Illustrated by Andy Hook.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2015.
90 pp., trade pbk., $5.99.
ISBN 978-1-4431-3367-8.

Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.

Review by Lisa Case.

**** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.


What is this? Zac, once again, is on a mission involving Professor Voler, and this time as an invited guest! GIB and BIG are on a race against the clock. Who can find the top-secret blueprints first? What does Professor Voler have in mind this time?

“So why is Voler giving away this free technology?” Zac asked. “It sounds like a trap to me.”

“I know,” said Leon. “We think so, too. But it’s worth the risk if you can get your hands on those X-Beam blueprints.”

“What is an X-Beam, anyway?” Zac asked.

“It’s kind of like an X-ray,” said Leon. “But instead of looking through skin and bone, it lets you see through solid brick and metal. In theory, that is.”



Zac Power’s exciting adventures never stop. Swamp Race, the newest adventure from the “Zac Power” series, is a story starring Zac Power, an ordinary 12-year-old boy. He has to go to school, keep his room clean, do his chores – oh yes, and in his spare time he saves 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 whose job is to create gadgets and organize missions.

     Professor Voler has created new technology that he just wants to share. The catch – it’s a race between Zac Power (GIB) and Caz Rewop (BIG). The BIG agency is full of ruthless spies and is GIB’s greatest enemies. Professor Voler wants to be entertained, and what better way than a competition which will be held in the dreaded and dangerous Murky Swamp. The winner gets the blueprints and transportation out of the swamp. The loser will be left alone in the swamp to face all of the dangers – alone!

     Zac Power stories are so much fun. They are well-written with great spy drawings which easily captivate even the most reluctant reader. They are formatted with print that is easy to read and nicely spaced, so they are not overwhelming for children who are either beginning to read or who may struggle. Because the chapters are short, anywhere from eight to twelve pages, it is possible for a child to read a chapter easily. This series can be enjoyed by many age groups. Children become fully immersed in the world of Zac Power and feel excitement as he tries to make it home on time.

     The Grade 3 classes at our school have given the “Zac Power” series two thumbs up! We have many copies here, and they are constantly flying off the shelf. Our students are always eagerly awaiting the next installment. We definitely recommend these books.

Highly Recommended.

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

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

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