Erika McGann’s new series is as lively and quick-witted as its central character Cass Okara, founder of the Bubble Street Gang. Of course the first thing any self-respecting gang needs is somewhere private and preferably secret to meet, particularly in Cass’s case when you really need to get away from your annoying baby twin brother and sister, ‘a pair of bulldozers in babygros’, so the first adventure for Cass and gang members Nicholas and Lex is to find a clubhouse. With input from Lex’s granny they find the perfect place – it even has a secret bridge entrance and giant snorting security guard (the Cass spin on the bull who shares the field) – and happy days follow, until they realise that someone else is using the clubhouse. The gang go into action to solve the mystery, and the reveal provides a lovely comic ending.
Cass is exactly the kind of person you’d want leading your gang or as a friend. She has the best ideas, is very funny indeed and never lets anything get her down. This is a hugely entertaining read, full of the kind of adventure that all children could see themselves having, and featuring a great cast of interesting characters. Nice to see too that it’s not just youngsters who get up to mischief with their friends – it turns out that Lex’s granny might have had her own motives in helping them set up a cosy secret den. There’s a great deal of fun and action packed into a short extent, and the chatty, direct voice McGann gives Cass keeps the pages turning nicely. Illustrations by Vince Reid add to the appeal.