Elizabeth Wasserman’s The Adventures of Anna Atom is pure reading joy!
Taken on a fantastical adventure, readers are transported to a world filled with robots and biotrons, brilliant computers, an invisible space station, a crazy professor, unexplained environmental hazards and of course, pirates and pirate treasure.
Anna lives on a small, beautiful island in the Indian Ocean, with her Mum, a world-renowned scientist; Ton, her caregiver-come-security agent and her younger brother, Pip. (Pip is a biotron - half-human and half-machine - a prototype that Anna feels doesn’t work very well.) Anna has a robot dog who accompanies her and a range of hi-tech gadgets and devices to swim and explore the ocean with.
Professor Sabatini, Anna’s Mum, works on the island with Max, a super computer designed to protect the planet. Anna’s Dad, the Admiral, lives in space, because his molecular structure has come unstuck. (It seems he’d fall apart if he lived on Earth…) And then there’s Uranus Drake, the mad environmental scientist who wishes to wipe out humans in order to save the planet and it's species. He goes to great lengths in choosing a small contingent of like-minded thinkers to help him redirect the Earth out of chaos and towards a more magnificent future.
This is a chunky novel at 240 pages and at first glance is a little intimidating for young readers, but after a wonderful opening chapter, kids will be well and truly hooked. The story's a little jerky to begin with, becoming smoother as the descriptions, threats of the sea and hints of danger create a superb journey into a wonderfully imaginative new world.
“The admiral frowned. U6 believed that humans were just a passing life form that would eventually be extinguished, just like the dinosaurs. The Admiral wished he could be sure that she was wrong, but U6 was an exceptionally clever computer.”
Elizabeth Wasserman is a well-known South African writer, much loved for her mystery children’s series with Dogtective William (Speurhond Willem), the talking, travelling dog who helps Interpol to solve crime.
In The Adventures of Anna Atom as a novel, however, readers get the chance to delve deeper into Wasserman’s universe, where the warmth of her writing sweeps them away into strange and magical experiences that end up feeling not very strange at all. It is pure delight. Entranced by modern catch words, tech-savvy phrases and inventions that are uniquely Wasserman in flavour, this vivid spy thriller, adventure and environmental suspense has a lot going on.
Creative and energy-rich, young imaginations are stretched and exercised, leaving young readers feeling most fulfilled.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this novel is that it is suited to both the avid reader and the reluctant one. Children can choose whether they want to fall into the story completely, reading on and on forever and disappearing from the real world, or instead, choosing to pick it up and put it down at will, without fear of losing the thread. Either way, reading audiences are satisfied and encouraged to continue.
Similar in many ways to the popular Spy Kids movies, this book is a highlight for African booksellers and will stand up well against those already on the market. Incredibly funny, (hilarious to the point where readers feel the need to share the story out loud with others,) the characters are wonderful role models in a familiar and exciting tale of the threatened planet.
The Adventures of Anna Atom is a novel that reminds us of those we loved as children - entertaining, magical and filled with endless possibilities. We loved it.
Find out more about the author here or visit the website at www.elizabethwasserman.co.za.
Buy the book now, click here.