Author(s): Jaqualine Chapman
A novel in notes for junior readers, this is a buoyant, light-hearted and mischievous book that will have immense appeal both as a read-aloud and as a read-alone. Stevie and Jolie are a slightly unwitting comedy duo. Jolie is the smart one who does his homework; Stevie is the kid who struggles a bit with maths and spelling and who's always asking, 'What homework?' When things get dull or difficult in Miss Hall's class, the boys start a running series of questions and ludicrous answers through the notes they pass to each other. The notes are quirky, crisp, and funny. The comic energy of this little book is delicious: there is the deliberate, goofy, juvenile humour that kids will instantly recognise; as well as Stevie's atrocious spelling and maths, and the loopiness of some of his hare-brained ideas. Illustrated throughout with Rebecca Cundy's quirky, lively drawings.
Jaqualine Chapman was born and raised in Auckland and currently lives in Porirua. She is a primary school teacher but her other jobs have included working in an Icelandic fish factory and selling tights in a London mall. In 2003 she enrolled in a Creative Writing Course at Whitireia Polytech and since then has had children's stories accepted by Learning Media and National Radio. In 2006 she was a winner of the Spasifik/Huia Short Story competition. Top Secret - Pass it on is Jaqualine's first book. She specifically wrote it to encourage reluctant boy readers to read.