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"Unputdownable conservation themed action and adventure "

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LoveReading4Kids Says

LoveReading4Kids Says

A Jack Courtney Adventure : with Chris Wakling

Young readers who want to be gripped, challenged, informed and entertained – this exciting new adventure series is just what you’ve been waiting for. Fourteen-year-old Jack is on a safari holiday in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with his parents, the wealthy founders of a conservation charity. His friends Amelia and Xander are on the trip too – so far, so idyllic (though he could do without his arrogant cousin Caleb), but then his parents are kidnapped by mercenaries. Jack has already experienced one family tragedy, he’s determined he’ll prevent another. This is a taut, tightly plotted thriller which puts young people firmly in the driving seat, but there’s lots about family and relationships too. Moreover, the authors will inspire a fascination about the wildlife of the region in readers, and alert them to the threats facing it. Fast-moving adventure with heart and a message.


Jack is as appealing a hero as Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider, but the books will also appeal to fans of Gill Lewis’ animal adventures, Gorilla Dawn and The Scarlet Ibis.

****Read a Q&A with Wilbur Smith on his inspiration behind Cloudburst and the different challenges of writing fiction for children.

Andrea Reece

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Reader Reviews

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This is an action-packed book and there are some interesting characters.

I was surprised by what happened to Jacks brother. It’s interesting to read about D.R.C. I think Jack is brave because he threw a golf ball at a person on a motorbike it hit him square on the head and knocked him out so they could get dads briefcase back.... Read Full Review

Nate Anderson

Cloudburst is an exceptional adventure book for all ages and is a must-read for any young authors looking for inspiration.

Cloudburst is a fascinating story about Jack Courtney and his journey to find his parents and fight against the many illegal and disgusting things that his dad and uncle have been doing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Wilbur Smith does an amazing job at not rushing the story and paces it in a way which makes you not stop reading and be eager to find out what will happen next. In the beginning, Jack thinks that his parents are here for a gorilla conference but it turns out that his dad and uncle were not doing that at all and instead faked a kidnap for money and were in charge of a child labour mining facility. This book excels in discussing topics like this while not straying from the main point of the story.... Read Full Review

Adil Akther Hye

If you like adventure, mystery and action you have to read this book!

This book is about a boy called Jack and his friends Amelia and Xander and they go with his parents to the Democratic Republic of the Congo because Jack’s parents are nature conservationists. They are going because Jack’s parents want to stop illegal mining. While Jack’s parents are at their conferences, they decide Jack and his friends should go on a safari trip to the rainforest. Jack and his friends think that this is going to be fun until they find out that Jack’s self-centred, ignorant cousin is coming with them. Jack doesn’t like his cousin Caleb because he is annoying and always trying to show off.... Read Full Review

Daniel and Alexander - AKA The Book Brothers