#LoveOZMG, Australian literature, Australian women writers, Book Industry, Books, Children's Literature, Crime/Mystery, Friday Barnes, Junior Fiction, middle grade, Publishers, R.A. Spratt, Reading, Reviews, series

Friday Barnes: Never Fear by R.A. Spratt

Title: Friday Barnes: Never Fear

Author: R.A. Spratt

Genre: Mystery

Publisher: Puffin

Published: 7th January 2020

Format: Paperback

Pages: 288

Price: $15.99

Synopsis: Friday’s time at Highcrest is running out!

Friday’s time at Highcrest is running out!The new headmaster is turning everything upside down. Friday’s irritatingly high IQ has her fast-tracked to graduation, while a pair of incriminating pants puts Ian on the rocky road to expulsion.

When a rumour emerges of embezzled gold stashed on the school grounds, Friday is determined to uncover the truth. But some big questions remain: Can she stay out of detention long enough to solve the mystery? How will Melanie survive without Friday to tell her what class she’s in? And will Friday ever get that first kiss with Ian?

With implosions and explosions everywhere, Friday Barnes will have to use her head and get a grip on her beating heart in order to find the gold that lies within.


Loveable girl detective Friday Barnes is back – and she has a new headmaster to contend with, who has started turning everything at Highcrest upside down. Teachers are still irreverent, sadistic and at times, uninterested in teaching and more interested in the personal lives of students (Mrs Cannon, this means you). And this year, the new headmaster, Dr Belcredi, is determined that there will be no mysteries and all she’ll have to focus on is improving school facilities – but why, and what is she up to? Friday suspects her of being an imposter, especially when rumours of embezzled gold stashed under the school come up.

Friday needs to stay out of detention, survive year twelve, and make sure Ian and Melanie get to class and stay in school. But who is behind the pranks and attempts to find the gold and swindle the school out of money to improve the facilities and education of its students? Only Friday and Melanie, and Binky can find out!

Friday’s eighth outing sees her grappling with even more social difficulties whilst navigating material she already knows – yet the reason the new headmaster has fast tracked her through high school is going to be every bit as intriguing as the mysteries surrounding the asbestos found in the school, and Ian’s disappearance.

Never Fear has Friday’s insecurities about belonging, friendship and Highcrest being the only home she truly feels at home in front and centre in the narrative. Over the series, we’ve managed to get to know Friday’s quirks, her astounding intellect and some might say shameless knowledge that she knows she’s not great socially. But its her family life that we rarely get a glimpse into. The youngest of five, Friday is alone, as her family chase science careers in Switzerland. Though she may be a genius, Friday is still a child in search of security, safety and friendship and she’s found that at Highcrest, which makes her relatable to readers who might be feeling the same thing, and can reassure children that family and home is more than just a biological familial connection.

This is a charming, fun and exciting series – with at least two more books to come. I’ve just started book nine, with an early February release. This series shows that sports and beauty are not the only things that make a character and by extension, people in real life worthy. Through Melanie, Friday and Binky, we explore intellect, friendship and fitting in, reassuring readers that it is okay to be different. Because why would we all want to be the same anyway?

Onto book nine…

1 thought on “Friday Barnes: Never Fear by R.A. Spratt”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.