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A WHOLE WORLD OF ADVENTURE
by

Duncan Watt

 

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The Wallace Boys Books Series

was published by:

Graham Brash Publishing

Graham Brash Publishers (Singapore)
Tel:  (+65) 6262 4843
Fax: (+65) 6262 1519

 

Duncan Watt:
E-mail

Tel:(+65) 6469 3893

 

Other Activities:

School Visits

Voiceovers

Proofreading
Private Tuition

 

 

A New Review from GoodReads

by Mike DeBaptiste

…What happens next cannot be told in a book review; it’s too incredible. You have to get a copy of this book and read it for yourself. Duncan Watt uses some serious writing magic and his vast knowledge of ships and seafaring to come up with the most unexpected ‘unexpected twists and turns’ that you’ll probably ever run into in a boys’ mystery-adventure book. How the Wallace Boys escape from Bugsuk Sulu and the Moro pirates is as tense and thrilling and original as anything I’ve ever read, and I’ve read them all – at least sometimes I think so. This is one of the best books in the genre, able to stand alongside all your old favourites, but with a refreshing twist that makes it markedly different and a real joy to read. Even though Rick Brant in The Pirates of Shan had a pretty similar adventure with these same pirates, he’d go bonkers reading this book, knowing he’d been there too and just how darn hard it was to get out of there and back to the world where you can take a boat ride and not have to worry about pirates who kidnap for ransom and carry AK-47 machine guns!

 

Reviews from Education Otherwise*

The Sultan of the Sulu Sea
I think this book is very good because there are a lot of tense moments when you wonder what is going to happen next.

Crash in the Caprivi
There is a lot of factual information added to these fictitious adventure novels...So here, I believe, is where the author has attained his goal. He has provided an entertaining story within which he has woven a factual insight of the world and its people. What an excellent way to learn!

The Pagodas of Pahang
This is an interesting and exciting story with the occasional funny bit in it...

Trouble in Tristan
I really liked this book because it is written in a very adventurous way...

Skulduggery in the South Atlantic
I liked this book even better than Trouble in Tristan I reviewed in the last issue because there is lots of information at the end telling you all about the island of St Helena where the story is set. It is a very exciting story...

The Sands of the Skeleton Coast

Although the book was a slow starter, I really enjoyed it as it got towards the end. It was full of jokes, danger and a lot of information on the history of the Skeleton Coast and the animals that live on it. This book is for girls and boys of the age 11 upwards. I recommend it, definitely.

 

* Education Otherwise is a United Kingdom journal for Home Schooling.

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Full Reviews from Education Otherwise*

 

 

The Sultan of the Sulu Sea
Compared with the other books by Duncan Watt it is probably the second best because it is a sea adventure which I like more than one set on land but Trouble in Tristan is more dramatic because there are more storms!! The first chapter is definitely the most tense because you don't know whether the pirates will catch them or not. Another good thing is that nothing happens too straight-forwardly which often happens in books. Also some things do go wrong; which also doesn't happen in most books but this book is like in real life because disasters do happen a lot. I think this book is very good because there are a lot of tense moments when you wonder what is going to happen next. 
Kit Freiesleben (10)

Crash in the Caprivi
There is a lot of factual information added to these fictitious adventure novels. This particular book is set in the Kalahari Desert in Africa. By the time the book was finished we both knew where the Kalahari was and that it is unlike most other deserts. It is almost completely covered in grassland, yet it is as treacherous as any classic sand dune desert on the globe. We also learnt that the Okavango delta is actually an inland delta running into a dried up lake bed in the centre of the Kalahari. Each year, climate permitting, the lake refills for a short period, thereby sustaining life in the region. Our reading of this novel coincided with the publishing in the Ecologist magazine of a story highlighting the plight of the ‘Bushmen of Kalahari’ due to the actions of various African governments (the borders of four countries meet in the Kalahari). We were able to discuss the issues around nomadic peoples using the factual footnotes in the book. So here, I believe, is where the author has attained his goal. He has provided an entertaining story within which he has woven a factual insight of the world and its people. What an excellent way to learn!
Keith Hall with Keith jnr (8)

The Pagodas of Pahang
This is an interesting and exciting story with the occasional funny bit in it. It is about four boys: Bruce, Nigel, Keng Peng and Zainal. They go into a jungle in Malaysia to find an ancient temple, which is called The Pagodas of Pahang, but are interrupted by a group of ex-communists and bandits who have kidnapped a world famous rock star called Flavia from the Eastern and Oriental express train. Two of the boys are also captured by the bandits and are put in a cave with Flavia. Nigel and Kheng Peng, the two that were left, use a king cobra to distract the bandits to let them try and free the prisoners. They find, however, that the prisoners have disappeared. The story ends with all the boys and Flavia finding the Pagodas of Padang and trapping the bandits. This book gives you a lot of information about plants, trees and animals in Malaysia. I enjoyed this book and I recommend it for boys and girls of 10 and over. There are lots of other titles (eighteen in all) in this series by Duncan Watt.
James Baker (10)

Trouble in Tristan
I really liked this book because it is written in a very adventurous way.... and also because adventures in boats is one of the things I am always making up. It is certainly the best book I have read for ages. Another thing I like about it is the fact that it is set in a real place and one page is a map of the island. I would definitely recommend this book for children my age and older. This is just one book in the Wallace Boys series.
Kit Freiesleben (9)

Skulduggery in the South Atlantic
I liked this book even better than Trouble in Tristan I reviewed in the last issue because there is lots of information at the end telling you all about the island of St Helena where the story is set. It is a very exciting story. And my favourite part is when Nigel, Bruce and Jimmy discover that there is an imposter in place of the governor of the island, Sir William Wallace, Nigel and Bruce’s uncle.
Kit Freiesleben (9)

The Sands of the Skeleton Coast
This story is about Bruce and Nigel Wallace, and their friend Jimmy who meet Barry who says he wants to explore the wreck of an old ship, the Dundee Star, and then go to a place called Cape Town. The boys and Barry soon end up in a lot of trouble with three Russian criminals. Although the book was a slow starter, I really enjoyed it as it got towards the end. It was full of jokes, danger and a lot of information on the history of the Skeleton Coast and the animals that live on it. This book is for girls and boys of the age 11 upwards. I recommend it, definitely.
James Baker (11)

 

 

Other Reviews

High action adventure...Exciting...Informational...Meticulously researched...Dramatic action...Will appeal to both boys and girls but also useful in attracting boys who are reluctant to read.
Junior & Middle School Education Journal - UK
Please scroll down for more reviews in full from this journal lower down on this page.
 

 

Exotic locations...Meticulously researched, entertaining, informative and fast paced...A worthy successor to the Willard Price and Enid Blyton Adventure series. A welcome addition to children’s bookshelves everywhere.

8 Days - Singapore  

 

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Highly commended...You won’t be disappointed...Captures and holds the imagination.
St Helena News Review - UK  

Stirs the imagination like a red-herring filled detective novel...Light bubbling and with an occasional sharpish bite.
St Helena News Review - UK  

An exciting and ingenious story with plenty of action and unexpected twists that keep interest alive.
St Helena News Review - UK  

Here is another rip-roaring adventure story of the Wallace Boys...Stirring stuff, full of derring-do...Very readable...Told with all the verve of an adventure/suspense writer.
The Straits Times - Singapore  

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A rollicking modern yarn. The plot twists through royal kidnap, chemical experiments on Gruinard and the IRA, all with sound doses of Scottish history and Highland backdrop.
The John Buchan Journal UK

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Meticulously researched...Educational value.
Nature News - Singapore Nature Society  

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Authentic background, plenty of action, twists and turns...Hairbreadth escapes...A most enjoyable adventure story.
Wordnews - National Book Development Council of Singapore 

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High action adventure...exciting adventure stories...a strong informational background...real places, exotic locations, which readers can learn about as they progress through the books. Maps, illustrations and photographs are included, drawn or taken during the author’s extensive travelling...meticulously researched. Informative facts additional to those gained by reading the stories include glossaries, information about the countries and sometimes a list of equipment to be taken on the Wallace Boys’ expeditions. While the books will appeal to both boys and girls, teachers may well find the books useful in attracting boys who are reluctant to read due to their interesting and dramatic action.
Junior & Middle School Education Journal – UK 

 

Two further stories have been added to The Wallace Boys series by Duncan Watt, whose policy is to write exciting adventure stories which have a strong informative background. In the same spirit of the previous books, The Legacy of Lobengula and The Sultan of the Sulu Sea follow the adventures of two boys in exotic locations, all of which are real places which readers can learn about as they progress through the books.

The Legacy of Lobengula is the story of an exciting, dangerous treasure hunt in the mysterious gorges downriver from the magnificent Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River. Throughout the story there are many maps, photographs and drawings, notes on David Livingstone in Africa and Lobengula, together with details about the area where the story is set. To really add to the adventure, the equipment required for a ten-day camping trip on horseback is listed!

The Sultan of the Sulu Sea runs in a similar vein with maps, nautical charts and drawings, but is set in the South China Sea. That the author has travelled to these places provides a definitive sense of reality to the adventures. The books will appeal to both boys and girls, and would be especially useful in attracting reluctant readers.

Junior & Middle School Education Journal - UK 

 

 

And British Home Tutors has had this to say:

The tutors were overall very impressed with your books and tested them on some of our pupils. The feedback was along the following lines:

What we liked about The Wallace Boys books is that they engage pupils’ imagination before they seek to inform. While the settings are rich in accurate detail, historical and geographical observations are woven seamlessly into the narrative. From a tutor’s perspective the stories are attractive material for children as it restores a sense of wonder and mystery to events and places.


The contexts for the adventures bring home to readers how rich and varied the world they live in actually is. Readers soon realize that places and people have pasts that need to be discovered before events can be fully understood. The books have a cultural depth that most children’s adventure stories avoid, perhaps fearful of discouraging their readership. That has not been BHT’s experience however, who found that the stories triggered pupils’ interest to ask questions, enquire and explore other areas. In that sense, the Wallace Boys books are, in the best meaning of the term – “educative”.

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Copyright 2013. Duncan Watt. All rights reserved.

 

Graham Brash Publishers in Singapore are well-known for their wide collection of works on Asia, particularly reprints of early books. To contact them directly to find out about what they produce, click here