Devils in Danger (Samantha Wheeler, UQP)
When strange things start happening around 11-year-old Killarney’s house—missing clothes, screaming in the night—she becomes determined to solve the mystery. Killarney soon discovers that the culprit is a wild Tasmanian devil, denning underneath the house and soon to release her babies. Killarney is thrilled but not everyone in her small community is as pleased as her. Some people want the devils gone, others may even want to hurt them. It is up to Killarney to save and protect her little visitors—but will she be able to convince the community to accept them? Devils in Danger is another enjoyable and accessible read from Samantha Wheeler, who is firmly establishing herself as a go-to author for younger readers. The combination of loveable characters, exciting storyline and interesting factual information makes this a perfect book for primary school readers in years three to six. Killarney is a loveable protagonist whose struggles with school and difficulties with her friends will be familiar to many readers. There is a strong sense of community, with a cast of interesting characters, that gives the novel a lovely sense of place. Devils in Danger is a fail-safe choice for kids who are after something different from the large range of fantasy novels currently available for this age group.
Erin Wamala has previously worked in publishing and is currently both a practising teacher librarian and the owner of The Kids’ Bookshop.