Title: Secrets of an Undercover Activist
Written by: Nat Amoore
Cover illustrated by: James Lancett
Published by: Rock the Boat
Secrets of an Undercover Activist by Nat Amoore is a great book to read aloud to an upper junior class. Nat’s energy definitely makes it such a fun read. Set in Australia the issues and the children’s reactions are easily relatable to children in the UK and the rest of the world. Nat Amoore has created three distinct voices worth listening to. Each character has well-developed motives and intentions. A very real and thoughtful novel with many underlying important themes:
“…how far is too far, grief, loss, family relationships, friendship and community, finding your tribe, disability representation, self-reliance, making yourself heard, standing up for what you believe in and the grey area between right and wrong.“Nat Amoore quote taken from my interview with Nat for her blog tour on 15th July 2021.
You can read the full interview here: Blog Tour – Secrets of an Undercover Activist by
Our main character, Casey Wu, tries to stay out of the spotlight, which is why no one would suspect her of being the mastermind behind a string of attention-grabbing pranks at her school. Together with best friends Zeke and Cookie, she is part of Green Peas – a secret activist organisation, designed to make adults sit up and pay attention to important environmental issues. But when these three Year Six activists get wind of a major cover up in their town, things really start to get serious and so they stage their biggest prank yet.
Secrets of an Undercover Activist is an inspiring story, encouraging reader’s to stand up and do something positive to help the environment we live in and to ultimately help our planet. I love the way the dialogue flows so easily and the children voice their feelings freely about losing their local park. Casey Wu is truly an enigmatic character whose motives are direct from the heart to make the world a better place.
The Green Peas Manifesto is pure genius. I particularly like Rule 14:
Always listen to others. No idea is too crazy.
But my favourite rule must be Rule 25:
Always try to be a better person. But in the end, be the best you can.
This is a message we should all strive towards. This middle grade novel would be a brilliant starting point in a Year Five and/or Year Six class on things they can do to make a difference, no matter how small and also for discussing when a prank is no longer funny, viewing things from different character’s points of view – even Fiona Gill, the corrupt Mayor’s viewpoint. I really did laugh out loud at some of the Green Peas’ pranks. it reminded me of the humour in Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals.
It is not surprising Secrets of an Undercover Activist was the winner of the Environment Award for Children’s Literature in Australia and has been shortlisted for the Readings Children’s Book Prize 2021 as well as being shortlisted for the Young Australians Best Book Awards for Older Readers. It is good to let children know that they can make a difference. I would recommend this book to children aged 8+. A brilliant, fast-paced adventure that will have you laughing in your seats. The bright and alluring cover by James Lancett make it an easy book to pick up but the plot and characters make this an extremely hard book to put down.
I would like to thank Anne Cater from Random Things Through My Letterbox for organising not only the blog tour but also a review copy of the book. Thank you.
You can find out more about Nat Amoore on her website: https://www.natamoore.com/ and follow her on Twitter @nat_amoore on Instagram @nat_amoore and on Facebook @NatAmooreWriter. Check out her podcasts on YouTube at: Nat Amoore.
You can buy copies of Secrets of an Undercover Activist by Nat Amoore from your local independent bookshop, or online at uk.bookshop.org, an organisation with a mission to financially support local, independent bookshops.