The Principal's Kid
by Joan Weir
Published by Polestar
173 pages, 1999
Buy it online
Stolen Prawns and Adventure
Reviewed by Linda L. Richards
An international prawn smuggling ring, a couple of weird accidents and the apparent involvement of the title character in an odd series of house break-ins sets the stage for accidental sleuths Lion and Bobbi to start on a new adventure. A sequel to 1998's The Witcher, The Principal's Kid nonetheless stands on its own.
There are very few references to the first tale here, nor do any of the things learned about Bobbi and Lion in book one reflect very much on book two. While in The Witcher Bobbi and Lion -- with the help of their trusty steeds Brie and Raj -- help solve a mystery involving a water witcher, the action in The Principal's Kid takes place in a fishing community. One thing carries through in both books: Lion's uneasy relationship with his horse Raj is the source of both humor and warmth.
"But can they co-exist?" Bobbi put in. "Mightn't the pulp and paper industry pose problems for the fish stocks?"
From a 14-year-old? Even a very intelligent and articulate one? I don't think so. Still, problems like this are minimal. For the most part, The Principal's Kid is a bright and compelling tale whose non-precocious heroes don't actually set out to save the day, but whose basic goodness and caring often places them in the position to do so. If there's a message in The Principal's Kid, it's about peer pressure and how not to succumb to it, but the message is subtle enough that you don't feel like you're being worked over by a hammer. The Principal's Kid is a happy adventure with some positive threads; a good read for younger "young adults". | July 1999
Linda L. Richards is the editor of January Magazine. Her fourth novel, Death was the Other Woman, is published by St. Martin's Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books.