Francesca Armour-Chelu’s Fenn Halflin and the Fearzero

9781406363128One of my passions as a bookseller is reading fantastic kids books. I have always felt that some children’s books are have better storylines than adult books. Fenn Halflin and the Fearzero is one of those titles.

Fenn Halflin has spent his life hidden away in the swamplands with his Grandfather. He longs for the freedom to live in the world outside – to have a bit of excitement in his life. The world however is not safe and he is in danger if anyone finds out about him.

Water levels are rising and land is becoming scarce. The land dwellers have built a wall and without a permit no Seafarer is allowed to live on land. Life is tough. Resources are dwindling and the dreaded Terra Firma, under the control of their leader Chilstone, patrol the waterways destroying boats always searching for something (or someone). The Resistance was crushed years ago but there is a rumour of a baby that escaped Chilstone’s clutches. They say this baby might save them all.

Francesca Armour-Chelu has created a world at once recognisable, yet not. Fenns world could be a very real future for us all if we continue to ignore the environmental damage we are creating. I am not normally a fan of kids books that deal with “Issues” however, Francesca explores the themes of migration, refugees, the uneven distribution of the world’s resources and global warming with subtlety. Kids will read Fenn Halflin and the Fearzero purely as a great adventure story but hopefully subconsciously they might take away some ideas about how we need to look after our planet and the people on it in equal measures.

Fenn Halflin and the Fearzero is a rollicking adventure story which had me completely hooked from the very first chapter! Resistance fighters, bad guys, kids using their wits to outsmart evil adults, friendship, sacrifice, and fulfilling ones destiny – Fenn Halflin and the Fearzero is at times part Mad Max, part Oliver Twist and part Waterworld. I absolutely cannot wait for part two to find out the conclusion of this thrill-ride of a book.

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ISBN: 9781406363128
ISBN-10: 140636312X
Classification: Children’s, young adult & educational » Children’s & young adult fiction & true stories » Adventure stories (Children’s/YA)
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x mm)
Pages: 304
Imprint: Walker Books Ltd
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Publish Date: 2-Jun-2016
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


3 thoughts on “Francesca Armour-Chelu’s Fenn Halflin and the Fearzero

  1. Thank you for your great review. As publication day approaches I’m getting excited – but also a bit nervous – and your review is really encouraging. I’m glad you feel I haven’t been too heavy handed with the themes. I work in a public library and hear a lot of what kids think of books and generally they’re not interested in a books ‘issues’ unless they love the book first. As you said; I hope they have a great read, but come away from it maybe thinking about what it means when a national leader describes refugees as a ‘swarm’…

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