The Blog

Best Children’s Books Series and Why ‘Zach’s Story’ Is A Top Pick

Zach Brinkley is in hospital in Book One, where he meets a set of ghostly twins who tell him he’s in mortal danger! He also meets an annoying ‘winged thing’ with a clipboard who works for DAPPO, the Department for Assisting People to Pass Over. In the operating theatre, where doctors are working to save his life, he discovers that he can float above his body. This, the winged thing tells him, is something she has a special name for: ‘Loaming is my special word for it. I made it up, so no one else knows what it means … except now I’ve told you. It’s a combination of looming and roaming. It’s a good word, isn’t it?

Zach Brinkley loams his way through a series of unique adventures. In Book 2 he encounters another murderous villain, together with the ghost of a young American soldier from his friend Sophie’s earlier life. In Book 3 he falls victim to a pushy, pipe-smoking, armchair-travelling ghost who’s seeking revenge against the headmaster of his new school. In Book 4 he risks his life to help a boy who is kidnapped in the course of a political plot. In Book 5 he unlocks the truth about an old man’s past, then tries to prevent the old man’s murder.

These are stories about resourceful characters for whom sleuthing, solving mysteries and defeating villains come easily. In addition to these main characters – Zach, Milly, Billy, Astra and Sophie – there are some beings called grunters whose job it is to capture unquiet spirits, or departed souls who’ve chosen to roam the earth instead of passing over. ‘DAPPO employs a special team of catchers called grunters,‘ Billy explains. ‘They’re ghost hunters, but we call them grunters because most of them are pigs.’

In order to be with Zach, Astra leaves her employment with DAPPO and runs away to become an unquiet spirit. In addition to making her a target for grunters, this poses the question of whether a friendship between a mortal boy and an eleven-year-old ghost will endure. Zach will grow up and marry and have a family, whereas Astra will remain eleven forever. It’s something that occurs to Zach: ‘There was a time when he’d wanted to stay with Astra … Astra had saved his life, and then she’d become a huge part of it. They’d laughed and enjoyed each other’s company. He was spending less time with her now …

Wendy Milton has engaged traditional Christian infrastructure in an amusing, believable, non-didactic way. Her stories engage children and make them laugh. There’s drama, humour and excitement, yet nothing to offend, indoctrinate, or displace belief.

Currently, Wendy sells her books in Australian bricks-and-mortar bookstores, with her global clientele purchasing her paperbacks and eBooks via Amazon and other online stores. This link will take you directly to Wendy’s Amazon page.