CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 19 . . . . May 11, 2007
Roy Linden plays for his high school football team, and the season looks bright now that the Johnstown Striking Cobras have Waymen Whitley, a new star quarterback. However, life gets more complicated when Roy discovers that the water near his grandmother's cabin is polluted and this is all somehow linked to the Johns Corporation, the town's main employer, Waymen's father, and even Roy's own future football career. Roy wonders who will help him get to the bottom of the mystery or if he can trust anyone in town.
Brouwer touches many themes in this young adult novel. Readers will enjoy the thrill of the sports story, the adventure and mystery of the toxic waste story, and the human interest story about the friendship between Waymen and Roy. Friends help each other both on and off the playing field, so Waymen is patient with Roy's stuttering and admits that he has always had problems with reading. Eventually the two boys work together to solve the mystery of the pollution, a situation which no one seems to want to acknowledge.
Orca books are designed with reluctant readers in mind. Cobra Strike is both high interest and low vocabulary, and the chapters are short. However, the book comes across not as an 'easy-read' but rather as an interesting and exciting action novel which will keep readers happy to continue right to the end. Characters are well-defined, and the setting and language used will appeal to the intended audience of pre-teens and early-teens, likely boys in this case.
Librarians and teachers always need a supply of reasonably short, well-paced and up-to-date novels for the student who "can't find anything to read."Cobra Strike fills the bill!
Ann Ketcheson, a retired teacher-librarian and teacher of high school English and French, lives in Ottawa, ON.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.