The 7 Professors of the Far North
by John Fardell
Recommended Age: 12+
Sam is thrilled when his parents tell him that he gets to spend his Easter holiday with Professor Ampersand and his adopted niece and nephew, Zara and Ben. But he never expected the adventure that soon develops, as the professor and five of his colleagues are kidnapped by the ruthless Professor Murdo.
The three children follow an amazing “underground railroad” all the way to the frozen Barents Sea, high above the Arctic Circle, where they must race to save Professor Ampersand and friends from certain death. But they are finally confronted by an even more fiendish plot by the villainous Murdo, who has a fate even worse than death in mind for his captives.
Cartoonist Fardell’s first book is a fast-paced, exciting adventure. The adult characters were charmingly eccentric, the youngsters are extremely resourceful, and the story is full of things guaranteed to charge up the imagination of all kids, regardless of age. My only quibble is that the shifts of viewpoint between Ben, Zara, and Sam were unnecessary and, in my opinion, weakened the book. It might have made more sense to stick to Sam’s point of view. However, “quite good” isn’t at all bad for a first time out, and I trust we can expect “even better” as the series continues in The Flight of the Silver Turtle.