By: A. L. Tait
Genre: YFC - Adventure stories
Published by: Scholastic Australia
Published: 01 Aug 2023
ISBN: 9781760260163


'The water in a rip current is always calmer than the waves on either side. Once in it, you’re best just to go with the flow.

'It’s the last summer before Callie starts high school and she’s been dragged along to yet another ‘family friends’ holiday. Determined to change her nerdy reputation, Callie sets out to make waves—but nothing is quite as she expects. Her usual ally, Sasha, has outgrown Callie; her nemesis, Mitch, has brought his cousin Owen along; and the boring south coast town of Sawyer’s Point has been rocked by a series of burglaries. Callie, Owen and Mitch decide to investigate the robberies, bringing them face to face with a local gang ... and a possible ghost.

But when Sasha goes missing, Callie must draw on all her smarts to find her friend, and discovers that being Callie McGee has its benefits. A middle-grade mystery about growing up, figuring things out, and solving the puzzle of who you are.

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Three families have gone away to the same holiday house since forever, but Calliope-Jean isreally not looking forward to this holiday. She is nerdy and book loving and Mitch, who is her age, always picks on her. At least she has Sasha, who is two years older than Calliope.

Things have changed this year, and Calliope-Jean wants to change her image before starting fresh at high school for Year 7. And there is no better place to start than that name, so she decides to become Callie.

Other things have changed too.

Sasha has outgrown her and spends her time trying to impress a local surfer named Ned. New to the group is Mitch’s cousin Owen, whose parents have all but abandoned him, giving Callie someone new to connect with.

When they find out that there has been a spate of local burglaries Callie, Mitch and Owen decide to spend their time, mostly at night, trying to uncover the thief. But is this task too dangerous for three 12-year-olds?

Filled with all the angst of being 12, as well as mixing three very different families, who are growing and changing, this is both a realistic and awkward situation. But as can be the case for those who have spent so many years together growing up, when one of them is in need the others are invariably there for them. This is an easy-to-read holiday story with themes of growing up, taking a risk to help others, developing friendships and family dynamics that will appeal to middle grade readers in upper primary and lower secondary.

Reviewed by Rob