Phoebe Nash: Girl Warrior by Justin D’Ath, paperback novel, 117 pages, published by Laguna Bay Publishing in 2010.
Cycling along an African road on holiday with her Dad should have been fun, but for Phoebe Nash it is just the start of an adventure both frightening and exhilarating. Phoebe flags down a passing vehicle when her dad becomes ill on their ride, but minutes later, they are all face-down in the dust with guns pointed at them. The African man that was trying to help Phoebe passes her a message and his mobile phone before he is hauled away by the men with guns. Now she must get help for her father, and try to pass on the message to the right person, Sospeter. He turns out to be a rather cute fifteen year old with a fast motorbike and a determination to rescue his father from the kidnappers, with Phoebe along for the ride.
A political kidnapping, an illicit motorbike ride, wild and dangerous animals, a daring rescue, and a cute boy. The perfect combination for an exciting and fast-paced African adventure! I enjoyed the story, which was interesting and exciting, without being too complicated. There was excellent description of the wild-life and scenery, allowing me to follow along with Phoebe and Sospeter on their rescue mission. I’ve always loved stories set in Africa, though most of the ones I read are full of complex politics or animal conservation issues, with death a common occurrence. Phoebe Nash: Girl Warrior was a clean story great for children, without death or swearing, and the reasons behind the kidnapping were kept simple.
I liked both Phoebe and Sospeter, both have courage and ingenuity, despite their young age. Phoebe has spunk; most thirteen year old girls wouldn’t have embarked upon such an incredible adventure with a boy they’d just met, in a country they don’t know! She is a good character to have at the heart of the story, and Sospeter complements her. He seems fearless and a bit stubborn, but knows when to ask for help. They make a great team.
Phoebe Nash: Girl Warrior was an entertaining read which I finished in one sitting. It is most suitable for middle primary to lower high school children. With a young female heroine, this story may appeal to girls more than other adventure stories, as they can relate to Phoebe. There is also a second book in this series that I am yet to read, Phoebe Nash: Detective.