'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 24 September 2012

Review: White Ninja

‘There is only one White Warrior born every century. They are the most venerated and hunted human on the planet.’

Roxy Ran is an ordinary 13-year-old girl, trying to find her way at home and school. Roxy’s dream is to be able to enter the school through Gate One, the entrance reserved for the A-list students like her beautiful, popular sister Elecktra. Instead she finds herself under attack from school bully Hero, who pelts Roxy and her best friend Cinnamon with spit balls and nasty comments as they arrive at school each morning.

When Cinnamon discovers an abandoned kitten, Roxy’s world is suddenly turned upside down. Defending the kitten from a vicious attack from Hero and his gang, Roxy finds herself standing up to Hero with a surprising display of martial arts skills. Roxy is turning into a ninja!

New student Jackson Axe helps Roxy to develop her ninja skills and tells her about the legend of the White Warrior. The White Warrior has the power to control the elements and Roxy and Jackson must find the Warrior and the mystical Tiger Scrolls before Hero and the Samurais do, to prevent the powers falling into the hands of those who would use them to cause chaos.

This action-packed junior novel features a dynamic heroine who takes charge of her destiny. The story emphasises the importance of being true to yourself and what you believe is right. White Ninja explores the bckground of the ninja and samurai and the discipline and philosophy underpinning the practice of martial arts. Tiffiny Hall explains ‘The world of martial arts has always been so magical to me, and I wanted to share the energy, fun and friendship I found in that world with my readers.’

White Ninja combines action, humour and adventure with strong positive themes about self-confidence, friendship, anti-bullying and good health choices to empower and encourage young readers.

While the protagonist of the story is female, the inclusion of Jackson Axe as a major central character and numerous descriptions of martial arts moves and fight scenes should ensure that this story appeals to both male and female readers who enjoy action and adventure stories. The novel is suited for children aged 9+, but parents should take into account the numerous fight scenes with descriptions of physical contact and injury, overt bullying, and some emotional confusion from Roxy as she comes to terms with her new powers when they are considering this story for younger readers.

This is the first book in the Roxy Ran series, so readers can look forward following Roxy's ongoing adventures as she pursues the way of the White Warrior.

Title:  White Ninja (Roxy Ran #1)
Author: Tiffiny Hall
Publisher: HarperCollins, $14.99 RRP
Publication Date: 1st September 2012
Format:  Paperback
ISBN:  9780732294533
For ages:  9+ years (Warning: some martial arts fight scenes featuring physical violence and injury)
Type: Junior fiction