Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
- Reading age: 9 to 12
The last thing Chaz wants is to spend his summer working on his father’s Eye, a Ferris wheel with glass-bottomed gondolas set up to view scenic North Vancouver. For one thing, Chaz would prefer to pursue his own passion: dance in the style of the late, great Gene Kelly. More important, Chaz suffers from vertigo, and even the thought of the Eye makes him want to lose his lunch. But when a crowd of angry protestors and a mysterious vandal threaten his father’s dream, and the family’s livelihood, Chaz is forced to overcome his own fears to help out.
About the author
Scottish-born and mystery-minded, Melanie Jackson is the author of Orca's Dinah Galloway Mystery Series for eight-to-11-year-olds, and young-adult suspensers such as The Big Dip and High Wire. Melanie, who lives in Vancouver with her husband Bart, is a business/advertising writer and editor. She's a member of the Vancouver Sun's Book Club, which reviews current novels in print and online. Melanie likes hiking, piano, English/Scottish history—and continually learning from the kids she works with as a writing mentor with the Vancouver School Board.
Melanie teaches a mystery unit to Grades 8 and 9 at two Vancouver secondary schools. She welcomes schools’ inquiries about her presentations for intermediate and secondary classes. For more information, e-mail Melanie or visit her blog.
"Well written and engaging...[with] a strong sense of the characters."
"The pace of the story moves along quickly...The details that lead Chaz to understand who is behind the attacks on the Ferris wheel and the driving cause for this behaviour are woven together very well...Recommended."
"An interesting read with surprising thematic precepts...[that] will be embraced by many young adult readers. Excellent life lessons to be learned and important messages about acceptance and problem solving are addressed in the plot. Recommended for recreational reading, literature discussion groups, even as a springboard for investigation into city planning and the ensuing problems encountered in building new projects and new recreational facilities. Also recommended for engaging challenged readers or ESL readers."
"Reluctant middle and high school readers would enjoy this fast-paced action novel."
School Library Connection
"Offers readers a mild mystery with an atypical leading man...[The novel] succeeds in ushering in themes of bullying, following one’s dreams, and confronting fears."