How many parents can identify with a child who they want to love reading but who is too easily distracted by their technology?
Todmorden author Michael Riding has given the answer in his adventure debut Callum McBride.
Twelve-year-old Callum McBride, home from school and bored in the holidays, discovers to his shock that he has a previously undiscovered talent: he can occupy the minds of animals and control their actions, while leaving his body where he left it, seemingly lifeless.
He’s only just discovered this disturbing ability when he meets Emma, a girl with her own issues and talents.
As the bond between them grows, Emma uncovers a surprising connection between Callum’s powers and his adoption by a local family. Throwing themselves into an investigation into the link between Callum’s strange abilities and his origins, they’re soon caught up in a plot to steal a nuclear warhead.
Written with just enough dialogue to support the action and explain the unique “teletransferance” ability that Callum discovers he has, the story is ideal for young readers who find other books too slow to keep their attention.
Michael said: “At 11 my son was struggling to find a story that could capture his imagination and not bore him with too much character development, description and dialogue.
“He needed something fast-paced and believable in order to be sufficiently captivated to put his electronic games down. Callum McBride did that for him and he has been an avid reader ever since.”