Sabotage on the Solar Express

Sabotage on the Solar Express
M.G. Leonard & Sam Sedgman, illustrated by Elisa Paganelli
Macmillan Children’s Books

In the fifth of the Adventures on Trains series, Hal and his Uncle Nat are on a three week trip to Australia. Billionaire train enthusiast, August Reza, has invited Hal and his uncle on the inaugural journey of the Solar Express – the winning design of his Reza’s Rocket competition. Also on the maiden voyage is Marianne, August’s daughter about whom Hal has rather mixed feelings though with her around he knows the journey won’t be boring. So too is the inventor of the hydrogen powered, Solar Express, a 14-year-old Aboriginal boy, Boaz who is enormously proud of his ‘no pollution, no waste’ engine as Hal discovers when he meets him on the day they arrive.

The following day comes the actual train journey, it’s to last around four and a half hours but as the locomotive departs, Hal is concerned that something isn’t right. His suspicions are confirmed when the journey gets underway for it’s not long before an alarming discovery is made: the Solar Express has been sabotaged. What’s more Hal and his team, notably Marianne and Boaz, only have a small window of time to find out exactly what the saboteur has planned.

Full of twists and turns, this truly nail-biting, unputdownable story unfolds at breakneck speed. With each new book authors M.G. Leonard, Sam Sedgman, and illustrator Elisa Paganelli add to the series, I think it’s the best so far, and then along comes another that’s even better.

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