Scoop Review of Books

More Action Please

The Secret of Spirits Bay by Stephen Barker
HarperCollins New Zealand Reviewed by ROWAN BLAIKIE

9781869507251.jpgIt was about a boy called Tom Bowman who loves to run on the beach, he loves to race. Then he meets a friend called Ana and her cousin Jake, who have a grandfather called Mata. Tom spends lots of time with his friends until he notices a mystery boy who he becomes interested in.
At the same time, there’s another story going on about a boy travelling to New Zealand in the 1800s.
The two stories are brought together really well by the secret of Spirits Bay.
Ten to twelve-year-olds might like this book because it’s peaceful and relaxing.
The mystery boy was quite good and the racing was good, but there wasn’t enough action.
I think the author should do another book about the treasure Tom finds at the end of the book – but with more action.


ROWAN BLAIKIE is a Wellington reviewer and pupil of Roseneath School.


  1. Stephen Barker, 13. November 2008, 11:47

    Hi Rowan
    Thanks for your thoughtful and kind review of my book. You will be pleased to know that there is a sequel which carries on the story about Tom, Ana and the treasure. At the moment it’s still with the publishers so a little wait yet. It’s called ‘the Riddle of the Stones’, but sometimes publishers end up changing book titles!
    There is some more running and racing in the story, and my daughters 12 & 14 say it is more exciting than the first book.
    Best Wishes – Stephen Barker

  2. T, 30. October 2012, 7:32

    Nice review rowan