Title: School of Fish: Frozen Fish
Author: Louis Shea
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Published: 1st September 2021
Synopsis: Brand new graphic novel by Louis Shea. Bright, funny, full colour illustration. Graphic novel format for ages 6+. Hilarious illustrations by the illustrator of There Was an Old Lady series and Where’s Santa/Easter Bunny series. The kids from Shipwreck Primary are going on a school trip to Antarctica.
Finn the Shark and his buddies are excited about their school trip to Iceberg Primary in Antarctica.
But there’s mysterious magic at this new school – an ice crystal with strong but unknown powers. Will it fall into the wrong hands and cause a disaster? Or can Finn, Philippa, Shelley, and Humphrey get it back before it’s too late?
With ice castles, action-packed ice-smash games, and a new gang of bullies to keep an eye on, there’s never a dull moment in this school of fish!
You’ll be hooked!
When Finn and his friends, and the rest of Shipwreck Primary visit Iceberg Primary, they meet a new cast of characters, including a new gang of bullies led by Sal, a Leopard Seal, who soon bonds with Blake and his friends, and is determined to make the trip a bad experience for the others – even if it means stealing the magical ice crystal and making themselves look like the victims. But Finn and his gang, and their new friends have a plan that involves a new game they’ve learned – but will it work?
The second in this series is just as fun and takes us into a new area of the ocean which is just as vibrant and colourful as the world of Shipwreck Primary. Finn and his friends are on an exciting journey that readers who have been with the books since they first came out back in March, and those new to the series with this one will adore. It is the kind of series that can be read in order or out of order – the characters are established but we are also reminded of who they are through interactions, and one can pick up on who is who easily. This makes it easy for new readers to come to the series now and go back to the first book when they are able to get it.
Graphic novels are growing in popularity these days, presenting stories in unique ways that help children gain visual literacy but also giving those who don’t want to read large blocks of text an option. As a reader, I like the idea of all kinds of texts being available, as this makes stories of all kinds more accessible for readers at all levels and can be accessed based on what they need – graphic novel, novel, ebook, audiobook and everything in between, as well as what they like to read. Finding ways to make sure interests and reading ability and needs are met in one neat package is important, and hopefully, there will be more books that can do this heading into the future. Books like School of Fish offer a nice bridge between a comic and a novel – as there is a little bit more text, and these books also have chapters, which allows readers to stop at a chapter break if they need to or want to – whatever works for them.
The themes of friendship, unity and bullying are good for kids to read about in books like this – they present them in ways that the kids can relate to, and in ways that make sense in their world – that of school and friends. Talking animals are also a winner in kids’ books, and so many I’ve read lately have that delightful aspect to them, albeit in different manifestations, but this is what has made them so much fun to read – to see how different authors, like Louis Shea, use talking animals in their stories.
Frozen Fish also has themes of teamwork – teaching kids how to work as a team, and creativity – how they can solve problems in their own worlds and help other people. This is one of those stories that works well as a graphic novel, and would make for a wonderful movie series as well – it is exciting and fun, and a quick read for confident readers, one that reluctant readers can take their time with, or one that can be savoured and enjoyed – though it is so action-packed that it might be read very quickly by any readers!
Another great book for kids!