Interesting and easy to understand. But won’t appeal to reluctant readers.
Author: Brian Wu
Title: Fort Applegate & The Battle Of Wounded Knee
Paperback: 25 pages
Publisher: Mascot Books
Publishing Date: Nov. 2015
Reviewer: ‘Yomi ‘Segun Stephen
Review Rating: 3 (Fair)
A ferocious battle is being waged between the Bacteria Gang and the Fort Applegate inside Hewlett’s body! The immune system soldiers need a great commander and great intelligence to take advantage and win over their enemies. In this adventurous story, you’ll find out how the immune system battles and performs its heroic actions against the germs and bacteria that want to enter your body and sicken you.
Writing fiction with human parts or enzymes as characters can’t be easy. Even Osmosis Jones movie didn’t do well at the Box Office. The dearth of human biology-driven stories show that it doesn’t sell well and it is difficult to pull off. I believe that is one of the main reasons why many writers won’t dip their hands into that pie.
In any case, Fort Applegate & The Battle Of Wounded Knee, attempts to tell us what happens in a human body when you get a bruise or a cut. It tells the story of Nolan Applegate, a boy in search of an adventure – a place to build a fort to play in. However, while scouting for a playground, he injured his knee. Afterwards, he has a dream where he sees his white blood cells in a raging battle against the bacteria that entered his body through his cut knee.
Nolan, a smart boy, also seems to know exactly what to do to help his body fight these invaders. “He knew that fresh fruits and vegetables were especially important for helping to keep his immune system strong. It gave his body the raw materials it needed to build more white cells that would be ready to fight off any invaders that came along!”
Fort Applegate & The Battle Of Wounded Knee is interesting and the concepts are easy to understand. However, the language doesn’t suit reluctant readers. The book tries to make use of simple drawings to stir up pupils’ interest, but I believe there aren’t enough to lure low-level readers to the pages. While the front cover looks interesting, the inner pages looks any other normal fiction, with small picture thumbnails on few of its pages.
Summarily, the writing is good, the concept is sound, but even with the help of parents, I sense it will only appeal to serious readers.
Many thanks to Brian Wu, PhD for review copy. All images are © to their respective owners.