How is life aboard a space station? Just ask Hal Junior, who lives on one! Hal's mom is a head researcher, his dad is a maintenance worker, and Hal - well, he's a bit of a trouble-maker - to the annoyance of his fellow space-neighbors. But, the "trouble" part isn't always his fault, most-times "trouble" seems to find him! Whether he accidentally reverses the ships gravity field, or loses his homework in a space trashcan, Hal always seems to be surrounded by mischief. So when a teacher is replaced by the mysterious Mr. Thimp, Hal must find a way to save his classmates, himself, and ultimately his space-station - without getting grounded.
I never expected to enjoy Hal Junior - The Secret Signal as much as I did. I love children's books, but many of them are written strictly for kids, with no aim towards older readers. This particular book could be enjoyed by kids 5 and older - much older. I am in my twenties and I thought that this 175 page book was a quirky, smart, and fun little riot for boys and girls of all ages. Simon Haynes' characters are great! I loved Hal's personality and his knack for getting into all things mischievous, but I also liked the bad guys - even Mr. Thimp. The writing style was very enjoyable, the plot had me laughing-out-loud one second and shaking my head the next, and the dialogue, although easy for kids to read and understand, was just as fun for me. Being a scientist, I really appreciated the amount of technical jargon about ship computers, robots, and space cannons, and I know that younger kids will love it too. This fast-paced read will have kids excited about science, especially space, and will leave them begging for more Hal Junior adventures! The cartoons and diagrams were fun too, a great way to get kids involved! I will definitely be reading Simon Haynes' Hal Spacejock series, (ages 15+), after seeing how fun the kid-version was! Hal Junior - The Secret Signal is highly recommended to children of all ages and the people that read to them!
Rating:On the Run (4.5/5)
*** I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.