Series: Kensy and Max, Books 1-4
Book 1: Kensy and Max: Breaking News
Book 2: Kensy and Max: Disappearing Act
Book 3: Kensy and Max: Undercover
Book 4: Kensy and Max: Out of Sight
Written by Jacqueline Harvey
Published by Penguin Books
RRP: $16.99 (AUD) each

I have had these books sitting on my to read shelf for a while now and I have finally met Kensy and Max. The intrepid 11 year old twins are introduced in the first book when they are driven by their ‘manny’ Fitz from the Swiss-Italian border to Alexandria, a large estate in England. Waking the following morning they start to explore, discovering interesting people and becoming suspicious immediately of their surroundings. Fitz is busy trying to locate their parents, who seem to be missing. Kensy and Max are then taken to London where they attend school, staying in the home of Dame Spencer, a rich business woman and owner of newspaper The Beacon. But they soon learn that not everyone likes them, with Kensy experiencing some ‘accidents’ that threaten her life, and kidnap attempts. But these two are smart and tough, and give their foes a run for their money. But who can they trust, and who should they go to for help while Fitz is away?

This first book in the series is a springboard into the following books. In Disappearing Act Kensy and Max, with their parents still missing, have a new role (telling you would be giving away too much about book 1!) and are put to the test during a school trip to Rome. Book 3 sees the pair in Sydney, Australia, with a new task, along with Fitz and Song, their butler from London. Kensy and Max visit Paris in book 4, Out of Sight, where their preparations for the school play are interrupted with more important matters.

Young readers will fall in love with Kensy and Max. The books are well written with suspense and interesting characters. Kensy and Max are very different to each other, and which younger readers will identify with, I am sure. Each book includes a different code as chapter headings with instructions on how to solve the code at the back of the book. I expect this series will be a popular one with young readers. They would make a great read aloud in the classroom or at home.

Teaching notes for Kensy and Max, along with other books by Jacqueline Harvey, can be found here.

Many thanks to Penguin Books for supplying these books for review.