________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 3. . . .September 26, 2008


Batnapped! (HIP Jr. Bat Series).

Sharon Jennings.
Toronto, ON: High Interest Publishing, 2008.
68 pp., pbk., $10.95.
ISBN 978-1-897039-30-4.

Subject Headings:
Friendships-Juvenile fiction.
Kidnapping-Juvenile fiction.
Rescues-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Janice Foster.

**** /4


Batnapped! Teacher's Guide.

Lori Jamison.
Toronto, ON: High Interest Publishing, 2008.
24 pp., stapled., $5.95.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Janice Foster.

**** /4



And then he told me, "I'm taking Carla to the school dance. For Valentine's."

I stared at him. "You're kidding, right?"

He shook his head.

"You'd give up Leafs tickets, center ice, for a girl?"

He nodded.

"Are you sick? She's a girl."

Simon smiled like a moron. "I know she's a girl. I kind of like her."

"I'm going to barf," I said. So now you know. Now you know why Simon is a weenie.


Once again, Sharon Jennings provides her readers with a fast-paced, engaging addition to the "HIP-JR Bat Series," Batnapped. In this episode, Sam and Simon, two best friends and the only two members of the Bat Gang, find their friendship in jeopardy. Sam has two tickets to a Maple Leafs' game, but Simon refuses the invitation, planning to take his new girlfriend, Carla, to the Valentine's dance instead. Shocked and angry, Sam finds himself in a series of confrontational 'accidents' involving Carla, each landing him in trouble with the adults in his life. When Carla is kidnapped, the situation gets worse for Sam. He must do something. When that 'something' results in his own kidnapping, the excitement mounts.

     Batnapped deviates slightly from the other Bat Gang novels in that Sam finds himself conducting a solo performance in solving the kidnapping. The reason for his missing partner's assistance is Simon's interest in a girl. This new interest poses a threat to Sam's and Simon's friendship and possibly signals an end to the Bat Gang.

internal art      The young adolescent reader can readily connect with this realistic friendship conflict. The use of colloquial dialogue, humour, suspense and a controlled vocabulary, draws even the reluctant reader into the fast-paced story. The inclusion of simple black and white illustrations by Katie Malloy, together with the division of the story into ten short chapters, provides an easy-to-read format. The style of the illustrations may seem juvenile for older readers, however.

      The accompanying Teacher's Guide by language arts consultant Lori Jameson provides teaching suggestions for using Batnapped in a classroom setting. Lesson plans are provided with activities for independent reading, guided reading or literature circles. These include chapter discussion points and activities, a plot synopsis, a quiz, a research activity making a nonfiction reading connection and others. This guide presents teachers and English as an Additional Language (EAL) instructors with ideas to assist reluctant or struggling readers in becoming successfully engaged in reading.

Highly Recommended.

Janice Foster is a recently retired teacher-librarian from Winnipeg, MB.

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

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