This new series comes to North America from Australian author Jacqueline Harvey. The main characters are an interesting twin duo, full names Kensington Méribel Grey and Maxim Val d’Isère Grey. They’re not your typical twins, always traveling the world with their parents. Tagging along is Fritz, a male nanny, A.K.A.— a manny.
Kensy is feisty and competitive. Max also has a competitive streak but is more coolheaded and less impulsive. The story begins after they’ve been whisked off to England with Fritz. The parents aren’t with them, having gone missing in Africa. Mysteries abound as the twins adjust to their new school and life in London. They mostly worry about their parents. A series of events leads Kensy and Max to wonder if their mom and dad are even alive.
Other characters are too numerous to mention but don’t worry, a two page CAST OF CHARACTERS starts things off and fills you in on the complete group. Another unique feature for American audiences is all four books are releasing simultaneously. You won’t have to wait for the next release and can get right back to those dangling plot points.
BREAKING NEWS is the stage setter for the series. Each chapter title is a coded cipher which you can figure out with the bonus chapter explaining how in the back of the book. The twin’s Central London Free School is one of a kind and not for everyone. The headmaster isn’t your typical school employee and not every class is what it seems. With attempts to hurt or kidnap Kensy and Max the mystery deepens. Some of the why is revealed by the end and it will entice you to read Book 2 and beyond.
A fun, engaging start and the endearing Kensy and Max will keep you in good company.
THE OFFICIAL PLOT
What would you do if you woke up in a strange place? If your whole life changed in the blink of an eye and you had no idea what was going on?
Twins Kensy and Max Grey’s lives are turned upside down when they are whisked off to London, and discover their parents are missing. As the situation unfolds, so many things don’t add up: their strange new school, the bizarre grannies on their street, the coded messages they keep finding and the feeling that, all around them, adults are keeping secrets . . .
Things can never go back to the way they were, but the twins are determined to uncover the truth!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR (From her website)
Jacqueline Harvey knew she wanted to be an author at a young age. She couldn’t say exactly when, but winning a minor writing competition as a teenager inspired her to think that maybe, sometime in the future, she might be able to write books.
It wasn’t until November 2012, that Jacqueline took the giant step away from a 20 year career in schools as a teacher, Deputy Head of Junior School and most recently, Director of Development, to become a full time writer. She is now one of Australia’s most popular authors, having sold over a million copies of her Alice-Miranda, Clementine Rose and Kensy and Max series in Australia and New Zealand.
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What an exciting chapter book series for younger readers. I always enjoyed a good mystery at that age. Cool that all four books are released at the same time. Thanks for sharing!