Just received this invitation, but sadly I'm unable to attend.
Anybody up for going in my place?
I reviewed the first of Jennifer Lanthier's Hazel Fump Adventures: The Mystery of the Martello Tower when it first came out. Back then I was books columnist for the CBC radio program Freestyle and here's a bit of what I said at the time:
It's basically a great plot-driven adventure story. And it features a brother and sister who are forced to spend their summer holiday uncovering a family secret and exposing a ring of international art frauds. And Hazel's a great girl detective. She's got red hair. She plays basketball. She could probably kick Nancy Drew's butt. She ventures into dark tunnels without so much as a flashlight. I want to be her.
The Mystery of the Martello Tower has just come out in the US and it will be interesting to see how the book does in that market.
One of the things that I really appreciate about both of these Hazel Frump books is that they've got strong female characters without being at all "girly" books. I would buy these books for both girls and boys as they provide a good combination of high interest plot with a historical subplot.
In The Legend of the Lost Jewels, there is breath-stopping combination of peril and adventure as 12-year-old Hazel and her younger brother Ned undertake a treasure hunt in their cousin's castle. There is also a historical mystery concerning Fenians - and how often does that happen? I've seen enough YA novels featuring vampires to hold me for a very long time - but Fenians? That's something fresh.
Full marks to Jennifer Lanthier for giving us a girl hero to cherish - although really, how could you not love someone named Hazel Frump?