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30,000 words, 180 pages, Illus

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Teacher's notes

Hal Junior: The Secret Signal

"A thoroughly enjoyable read for 10-year-olds and adults alike."
The West Australian

"Sure to entertain and delight any fan."
Midwest Book Review

"The story zips along with lots of laughs, mysteries and adventure."

The Secret Signal is the first book in a thrilling series by award-winning author, Simon Haynes.

No swearing and no adult concepts ... just good clean fun.

Ten-year-old Hal Junior lives with his mum and dad aboard a space station orbiting planet Gyris, along with a large crew of scientists and his best mate, Stephen "Stinky" Binn.

Hal's way smarter than the adults on board, but instead of flying spaceships or inventing killer robots, what do they have him doing? Chores!

Worse, someone thought it would be a great idea if Hal attended school!

Chores and homework. Could life get any duller?

Not today! Hal's class is set to tour a visiting spaceship. He's disappointed it doesn't have guns, missiles, torpedoes and space mines... but it's still an excursion!

Aboard the visiting ship, Hal uncovers a secret plot. A plot involving kidnappings, sabotage and more. He tries to warn the scientists aboard the space station he calls home — but as usual, nobody believes him!
Well, Hal's not giving up that easily.

He decides the only way to save everyone is to deal with the evil plotters himself — using a giant, home-made space cannon!

No swearing and no adult concepts ... just good clean fun.

Frequently Asked Questions (Updated October 2011)

How long is this book?
About 29,000 words - 200 pages - with 42 small illustrations, diagrams and sight gags.

What's it like?
The Secret Signal has been described as 'Dennis the Menace in space' and 'Just William in space'. It's an adventure, a thriller and a comedy all rolled into one. There's no swearing and no adult concepts ... just good clean fun.

What's the intended audience?
Readers aged 9-12, and adults who still remember their inner child. Children in upper primary school (middle grade and/or middle school) will really like it. It should also prove popular with older readers who still enjoy fun and adventure.

What are the reading levels/readability grades for this book?
Kincaid: 3.5 * ARI: 3.8 * Coleman-Liau: 9.1 * Flesch Index: 88.9/100 * Fog Index: 6.1 * Lix: 26.6 = below school year 5 * SMOG-Grading: 6.8