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The Secret Signal: Hal Junior 01 (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 19. Juni 2012

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.4 von 5 Sternen 23 Rezensionen
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen What can I say I love this book 22. September 2012
Von Katie Silver - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
What can I say I love this book, it has a way of making you feel young again as you read, and like others have said it brings back memories of Just William and Dennis the Menace. Following the mishap adventures of Hal and his side kick stinky.
Set on a space station Simon Haynes has done a great job with these characters and scenery one cant help but grow to love them.

This book is just plain and simple good old fashioned fun, mixed up in a futuristic way, there is no doubt that Hal Junior is going to grow in great series which I will continue to follow but its also made me want to read Hal Spacejock
To sum up, its fun, its modern just read it and see for yourself

Razberry Juice
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fun, Smart, and Quirky; For All Ages!!! 9. Januar 2012
Von The Paperback Pursuer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch

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.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Adventure, science and entertainment in one nice little packet 16. Oktober 2011
Von Sean the Bookonaut - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
The Secret Signal is the first book in the Hal Junior series from Perth based Australian author Simon Haynes.

Simon's more well known for his adult fiction, the Hal Spacejock science fiction comedy series that earned him a comparison to Terry Pratchett.

While reading The Secret Signal I was trying to think back to the sort of science fiction I read in my middle primary years, to find some a touchstone or point of reference for myself, to give the book a review from a straight reader point of view without my teacher or librarian hat on.

That might have been a futile task considering how long ago that was.

In the distant past
But I do have fond memories of The First Travel Guide to the Moon which seemed to me to be on the borderline between speculative fiction and futurist extrapolation. The connection between that and Hal Junior is the description of what it is/might be like living off planet. With the added benefit that Haynes gives us a little bit more high stakes adventure.

Real science plus space adventure
Simon Haynes has done a really good job of describing life living on a space station and including scientific facts as part of that description i.e. a spaceships manoeuvring jets firing but the viewer not being able to hear but rather feel the vibrations.

Being a children's book we don't have complex relationships or down and dirty fight scenes, but we do have action aplenty. Haynes gives us a proto-larakin (because Australian's will live in space too) in Hal Junior, the kid that has the potential to get up to mischief and often does, & believably named nerdy sidekick in "Stinky" Binn.

The action scenes are all non violent to my recollection and prove that if you have sufficient skill as a writer you can write engaging, action packed children's fiction that's enjoyable by adults as well.

Are there girls in Space?
The story is a bit "girl" lite (there are no female child characters of consequence) but Hal's mum is chief scientist, while his dad works in maintenance and another sympathetic adult is also a female trainee technician. I am hoping that in the next couple of Hal Junior books we might see the introduction of a female sidekick character alongside Hal.

Production values
Before I forget, the production of the Hal Junior paperback is top quality as well. The cover is by Dion Hammill it's age appropriate and conveys a sense of movement and action.

The interior artwork by the author himself, is naff (and deliberately so) and somewhat tongue in cheek(I really enjoyed the running joke).

What sets it out from the rest?
What I think marks this out as top quality children's fiction is that it gives the child protagonist agency. It manages suspense and pacey action without resort to cliche or violence and it has a firm basis in science (enough to fool this armchair science supporter anyway). Despite being a book intended for children I thoroughly enjoyed the read.

Adventure, science and entertainment in one nice little packet. I'll be donating my review copy to my local library.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Hal Junior 2. Oktober 2011
Von R Retzler - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I received this book as a LibraryThing Member Giveaway. It is about a boy, Hal, who lives on a space station with mother, who has just been promoted to Head Researcher, and his father, who is a maintenance worker. Hal and his friend, Stinky, are typical boys with a lot of imagination. Their robot teacher is replaced one day and they go on a field trip to a space ship that is docked to the space station. That's when the fun begins, and eventually, Hal saves his mother, father, classmates and the entire space station with his quick thinking and imagination!

I read this book to my 10 year old and 6 year old sons. They both enjoyed it very much - my 10 year old says it is one of his top 3 books. "Really good, really good, really good" in his words. My 6 year old normally is not very patient with chapter books, but listened intently to the story.

The book was very amusing and we laughed out loud many times at Hal and Stinky and the ship's computer. The drawings in the book were basic but still added to the enjoyment of the book, as they illustrated the story in a humorous way. My son (10 year old) often says that he likes to read books about boys that are like him, and this one definitely fits the bill - just an average boy, who finds himself in a wild and exciting adventure!

My son is an above average reader for his age, and this book was just right at his level. We found the teacher's study notes on the author's website, and discussed those together as well, imagining what it would be like in the classroom of the future, or living on a space station. I liked that it was a fun and interesting book, but also gave us something to think about and imagine.

We are definitely looking forward to more adventures of Hal Junior, and my husband and I have decided that we are going to find the Hal Spacejock series by Simon Haynes and read those as well. I am very glad to have found an author that the entire family can enjoy. Keep up the good work, Simon!
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Kids, Space Heroes and Space Villains 26. September 2011
Von E. Witham - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I discovered the Kemlo books by E.C. Elliott late in my childhood and read all I could get my hands on. Kemlo and his friends who inhabited the space station with him had learned to breathe in space, unlike their parents' generation of `terrestrial breathers'. Kemlo scooted about the perimeter of the space station in a little space-car enjoying largely innocent adventures.

Simon Haynes' new SF book for children, The Secret Signal, refreshed my 50-plus years old memory. Haynes' character Hal Junior is the Kemlo for the early 21st Century. The technology is updated from Kemlo's world which knew nothing about the problems of zero-gravity for example - although Hal Junior definitely does not breathe in space and lands in danger when his space-suit runs short of oxygen.

Hal Junior's regular world consists of school, his friend Stinky and his parents. His teacher is a robot, and Hal's behaviour is an irritant for him and other adults around the station. He dreams of captaining a spaceship like Haynes' adult character, Hal Spacejock.

Hal Junior digs himself more and more deeply into trouble until he saves the space station from the evil crew of the space ship before it gets away with the station's stolen research data.
Haynes' trade-mark humour is not only verbal, but also in witty diagrams, and his clear plotting and story-telling provide lots of enjoyment.

The Secret Signal would be great fun for confident readers 8 years and older.
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