Bowman Press 2011
Hal Junior – The Secret Signal is the first children's book from WA author Simon Haynes. The book is a prequel to the humorous adult Sci-fi, Hal Spacejock series. Older Hal is good natured, confident in his abilities but an utterly clueless trouble magnet. It was interesting to glean a little insight into Hal’s formative years.
Hal Junior is good natured, confident in his own abilities, an utterly clueless trouble magnet, but he is a well meaning and likable dreamer. The story opens with Hal dangling upside down in a garbage chute by his elastic shoelaces trying to retrieve the only homework he has actually bothered to do. The antics continue from when his mother, the head of station research, gives him a secret signal for help, right to the climax where his earlier misadventures give an idea that might just save the day – or destroy the entire station…
This is a brilliant easy to read but exciting and funny story, perfect for reluctant boy readers. The humour is not as sophisticated and obscure as Simon’s adult series but I still caught myself chuckling out loud while reading the book. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.