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When I was a child I read all the Secret Seven books, all the Famous Five Book, every Nancy Drew book, and even some of the Hardy Boys. I loved reading about kids who saw things adults did not see, and found all these inventive ways to catch the crooks out. So I could understand why children have been reading Zac Powers and EJ12 books, or so I thought.
When I decided to review these two series I asked two fans to loan me books they liked. When they gave me their choices I asked them why they liked their characters? Tara said she like EJ because she was smart and cool. Sam said he like Zac Power because he always got into trouble but would still complete his mission. Already I could see that these books would be a little different from my childhood reading, but the best was yet to come.
The first big change was that my heros stumbled upon mysteries using their own initiative, and continued sleuthing often against the advice of adults. EJ12 works for a spy organisation called SHINE and Zac Power works for GIB. The have missions rather than mysteries, and they have adults directing their missions to save the world, or defeat their arch enemy agencies.
The second big difference is gadgets. I clearly grew up in the pre-iphone era, and so did my heros. They often went into danger armed with only a flashlight (if that), and when they got into sticky situations they had to use their initiative and whatever was to hand. Zac and Emma have an array of gadgets befitting members of international spy organisations, and the training to go with them.
What they do all have in common with my old favourites is that the heros save the day! And really that is what we want to know as children – good will always defeat evil, no matter how close the battle.
I missed my books when reading Zac and EJ, but I can see why today’s children like these books. Boys will love the short, snappy stories in Zac Power, and they will enjoy the fact he always gets into trouble but uses his brain to get out. Girls will love that EJ is caring and has friends, but still uses her head and kicks arse. And, let’s face it, todays young readers have grown up in an age when smart phones are a reality, and gadgets are to be expected. My mystery books might be a little tame for them now, but I think I am going to see if you can still buy Nancy Drew books and try for a little nostalgia from a simpler time.
Buy EJ and Zac Books from Bookbubble
Buy EJ, Zac, Secret Seven, Famous Five, Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys from Fishpond (You will need click on the image below to go to Fishpond and Search for the books you want)