________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 19 . . . . May 15, 2009

cover Stunt Pros. (Crabtree Contact).

Frances J. Ridley.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2009.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $10.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (RLB).
ISBN 978-0-7787-3801-5 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-3779-7 (RLB).

Subject Heading:
Street performers-Juvenile literature.

Grades 2-8 / Ages 7-13.

Review by Margaret Snow.

**** /4

Stunt Pros is another excellent title published in the "Crabtree Contact" series of high interest books intended to hook reluctant readers.

     The use of photography in this 32 page book is incredible with one after another image taken from several of TV and cinema's classic action sequences designed to pique and hold the active child's attention.

     The book, divided into 2-4 page chapters, begins with a basic introduction to the topic, a brief history of how stunts have evolved through the decades, stunt stars of the past, stuntman Steve Truglia's overview of the current job, safety precautions, three super stunts (Ben Hur's chariot ride, Steve McQueen's motorcycle ride in The Great Escape and Daniel Craig's 007 stunts in Casino Royale) and the use of stunt doubles. The book culminates with a glossary of terms, three suggested websites and, likely the area of greatest interest to students, how to get started in stuntwork.

       Here are some tips for getting into stunt work.

  • You will need good physical fitness. Stunt performers take part in sports that are good for all-round fitness such as running and swimming.

  • Stunt performers need useful skills such as martial arts, rock climbing, skydiving or riding motorcycles or horses.

  • Try getting work as a film extra (for example a person in a crowd scene). This helps you get a license to work in films and on TV. It's also a good way to find out about film sets and to meet stunt co-ordinators."

     Author Frances Ridley of Chelshire, England, has 20 years experience editing children's books and educational materials. In the three years she has been an author, she has published 17 children's books. She has included most of the key ingredients one discusses when teaching the text features of nonfiction with children: table of content, beautiful colour photos, text boxes, labeled diagrams, glossary, titles, subtitles, web addresses for more information and an index.

     Readers who investigate the three recommended websites will first find an up-to-date bio of stunt pro Steve Truglia with lots of downloadable pictures and video clips. The second website informs readers about all aspects of choosing to be a stunt pro as a career and the third outlines Dar Robinson's career, including his death in a stunt.

     The book's cover effectively captures the attention of potential readers and provides an excellent overall view of what's inside. The book's limited amount of text is nonthreatening for students with basic reading skills.

Highly Recommended.

Margaret Snow is a teacher-librarian and literacy teacher in a small, rural school in Southwestern Ontario.

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

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ISSN 1201-9364
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