Sent to live with his grandmother in Hastings after his father is jailed, Matt becomes the victim of bad friends and false accusations.
Sent off on a military-style school camp to the wilds of Lake Waikaremoana, Matt again gets in trouble for something he didn't do, and is unjustly punished. Not allowed to join his school friends on their activities, he spends time alone down by the lake where he discovers a massive eel. Unfortunately, news gets out about the eel Matt has nicknamed Elsa, and the class bad-boy, Cameron, is determined to kill it. Matt is determined not to let him ... but then, following a night of torrential rain, catastrophe strikes the camp and Matt ends up saving Cam's life.
Shortlisted for Esther Glen Award Junior Fiction at the NZ Book Awards for Children & Young Adults 2017
I have to say that eels are not among my favourite creatures - even when they're securely behind a glass wall at the zoo I can only look at them with a fascinated revulsion. Yet I loved this book!
Des Hunt writes an excellent NZ novel for 10-14 year-olds. The characters and the setting draw the reader fully into the narrative. Real life issues are tackled, and there's plenty of adventure. A great read!
- Kathleen, @Dorothy Butler Children's Bookshop. April 2018.