(Six book series)
H. L. Dube
Winchester, Ransom, 2013, 35p (approx)
I don't tend to read many short reads. For an adult reader, they are just too short, and I feel like I am cheating, especially with this blog measuring exactly how many books I read. But this is a series of stories, there are six of them, so I feel like I have read an acceptable amount.
The Steve Sharp series consists of six books about a private investigator in a missing persons case. The books all tell the same story, each beginning with a recap and ending with a cliffhanger. A rich woman, Mrs Clayton, arrives at Steve's office, asking him to help her find her missing teenage daughter. Steve explores the city, risking his safety to find the missing girl.
I have written in the past about the difficulty of striking a balance between high interest level and simple language in these short read novels, but I think the Steve Sharp series effectively meets those needs. In terms of the appearance of these books, they are very appealing to a teenage reader of low ability books. The black pages with white font, black and white illustrations, and short, blunt sentences make for a new reading experience. These novels are surprisingly tense considering how few words they contain. And the story is clear and fluid, yet contains drama and action throughout.
I have a whole new batch of year seven student starting very soon, and have stocked up on these and other short reads for when they are introduced to the Library and Accelerated Reader. The current year sevens have worked their way through most of my current short read stock, so I am excited by having something new and gripping like Steve Sharp.