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Tuesday, 20 September 2016

A Break in the Chain - Chris d'Lacey

A Break in the Chain
Chris d'Lacey
Joanna Carey (Illustrator)
A Banana Book
Heinemann
ISBN 9780778709770




I have now read 15 books by Chris d'Lacey in under a year. With every book I enjoy his skill as a writer more. He has a way of drawing readers into the subjects. It was wonderful to go back and read this one of his earliest books. My son and I tracked down that one after reading A Hole in the Pole. It has most of the same characters and continues on the same track. And again it was great seeing precursors to characters from both The Dragons of Wayward Crescent and The Last Dragon Chronicles. All three of my children love this book and many other we have read by d'Lacey.

This is the continuing story of Billy Cockcroft, but this time instead of being concerned about the hole in the ozone at the North Pole, the focus is on the effect of an oil spill in the arctic. This time Billy becomes responsible to explaining about the Polar Bear's food chain. But the TV news about the oil spill and the effect it is having. Soon Billy has another mystical experience with the Polar Bear Lorel and through that mobilizes his class to raise money to help with the clean-up in the artic. They soon raise awareness locally and through the news much further afield. 

The story is very well written. It has great characters, an interesting plot and a great pace for early readers transitioning from picture books to early chapter books. My children loved the clean-up project they tried. They were also fascinated with the descriptions of early computers and computers arriving in the class room. They asked if that was what it was like. 



The illustrations really add to the story. Towards the centre of the book is a full double page illustration that my son has spent a lot of time going back to. They are bright, and really are fun.

Chris d'Lacey is currently my favourite author. I have acquired all of his eBooks and have been slowing tracking down his older out of print books, like this one. I have yet to encounter a story that my children do not love, and that I also greatly enjoy. This was a wonderful read and is well worth tracking down. Chris d'Lacey writes in such an engaging style that children love his writings and those who read to and with them will also. I can highly recommend this book.


Books by Chris d'Lacey:
Dragons of Wayward Crescent
Gruffen (2009)
Gauge (2008)
Glade (2009)
Grabber (2010)

The Erth Dragons
The Wearle (2015)
2. Dark Wyng (2016)
3. ... 

The Last Dragon Chronicles with David Rain
The Fire Within (2001)
Icefire (2003)
3 Fire Star (2005)
4 The Fire Eternal (2007)
5 Dark Fire (2009)
6 Fire World (2011)
7 The Fire Ascending (2012)
Rain and Fire: A Guide to the Last Dragon Chronicles (2010)

The Unicorne Files
1 A Dark Inheritance (2014)
2 Alexander's Army (2015)
3 A Crown of Dragons (2016)

Fly, Cherokee Fly Series
Fly, Cherokee Fly
Pawnee Warrior

Other Books
Henry Spaloosh! 
Horace
Shrinking Ralph Perfect
The Snail Patrol
The Table Football League
Riverside United
Lofty
From E to You
Scupper Hargreaves, Football Genie
The Salt Pirates of Skegness
Falling for Mandy
The Prompter

Picture Books:
A Hole at the Pole
Juggling with Jeremy
A Break in the Chain
Read With Bubble and Float
Dexter's Journey
Frankin's Bear

Contributed to:
On Me ‘ead, Santa
Nice One, Santa
The Usborne Book of Christmas Stories
Heroes and Villains
In the Frame
Midnight Feast

Author Profile and Interview with Chris d'Lacey.





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