Sandy Fussell lives in Australia. She majored in mathematics, is intensely interested in history, and now works in information technology. She is the author of the Samurai Kids series, which includes White Crane and Owl Ninja.
Gr 5-7-Cockroach Ryu is an unusual samurai school. All the students have a disfigurement or disability (a missing arm, one leg, blind, etc.), but that doesn't stop them from training enthusiastically. Their friendship grows as does their education, taught by their curmudgeonly but wise sensei. Despite their struggles, they all share one goal: defeat the Dragon Ryu in the annual Samurai Trainee games. Listeners may expect more action and adventure from a tale about warriors-in-training, but the pace of Sandy Fussell's story (Candlewick, 2010) is leisurely, reflective more of the character of the elderly teacher. Narrator Joshua Swanson picks up the tempo, making this an engaging listen. He adeptly portrays the dry humor that is the highlight of the story. Appropriate for libraries looking to add a light, amusing adventure to their audio collections.-April Mazza, Wayland Public Library, MA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.