Kyoko is kidnapped in the middle of the night – but by whom? Who has the skill and ability to sneak up on Sensei and slip him a sleeping drug? Sensei immediately knows it is the mark of an old enemy, Lu Zeng, who is an evil and self-important minister of the Forbidden City, obsessed with eternal life. After helping their friends Mei and Du Feng and the other Shaolin Monks to escape danger, Yoshi keeps the whereabouts of the Shaolin monks a secret from Niya causing a rift among the kids. And it seems Sensei is keeping secrets from his students too. Will these secrets rip apart their trust and prevent them rescuing Kyoko before Lu Zeng performs one of his contemptible experiments on her? With the help of the Lin people, a mysterious group of forest people, the kids learn a valuable lesson about trust and honour, but will they ever be able to leave China and get back to the Cockroach Ryu in the Tateyama Mountains?

  • Action packed adventure series will appeal to both boys and girls
  • Introduces the exciting element of ninjas into the world of the samurai kids
  • A celebration of difference

(March 2008, Walker Books Australia)

Read an extract from Samurai Kids Book 4: Monkey Fist

“Yoshi!” I call his name over and over but the valley remains silent. Not even an echo. Yoshi is not here.

It’s three weeks since we saw the smoke and he left to return to the White Tiger Temple. Is he safe with our friends Mei and Du Feng or fighting for his life as the Temple burns?

I wish I went with him but Sensei shook his head. “Yoshi must go alone. He will attract less attention that way and I know a man who can help him travel quickly. This man only owns one horse.”

So Yoshi left and I stayed behind.

Day after day, Mikko, Kyoko, Taji and I trudge after Sensei, north towards the Great Wall. But I am always looking over my shoulder, searching the horizon for my friend. I wish I knew where he was. Sometimes it aches to have one leg missing, but without my blood brother, I feel an even greater hurt.

“Come on, Niya.” Kyoko pulls me away from the cliff side. “Yoshi will be back as soon as he can.”

“But what if he needs me and I don’t even know?”

She looks directly into my eyes and through to my heart. “You would know.”

Deep within me, the White Crane nods its agreement.

“Time to eat,” Sensei calls and my stomach rumbles in answer.

Another long tiring day has tucked itself under the mountain’s edge. Kyoko hands out rice rolls and peaches picked from the Temple orchards, while Taji distributes the blankets.

We huddle together. Not for warmth, the evening air is cool and comfortable after a day in the sun. Not for safety either. Samurai kids are not afraid of the night and the back road has been empty for days. We draw together because it feels good to laugh and talk. Until sleep tugs me close and the moon dips its weary head in my direction.

Copyright © 2007 Sandy Fussell 

August 2009 -DeeScribeWriting Blog

There were so many things to engage the reader in Monkey Fist; the action, the endearing characters, the tension, and the visual descriptions of places and events. Sandy is meticulous in her attention to detail and Monkey Fist is another thoroughly researched book that takes the reader into an amazing world.

September 2009 – Aussie Reviews

Monkey Fist is the fourth title in the wonderful Samurai Kids series. As with the other books, readers are offered an exciting mix of action, humour, obstacles and tension. Niya, the viewpoint character, is a likeable narrator, with the reader able to see his flaws as well as his strengths, and like him all the more for them.

November – 2009 The Reading Stack (Guest Review)

Much is the same in this fourth book, yet nothing is repeated. We are called to look beyond what the eyes can see, but the dimension we enter is more abstract. Can you trust a friend when all the evidence suggests he is betraying you? Is there ever a time when it is better not to know everything? Friendships are stretched thin.

November 2009 – Book of the Month, Bankstown Library

Monkey Fist can stand alone as a good book to read for those who are new to the series, but will be really enjoyed by those who have had the chance to read the earlier stories. All of the Samurai Kids must examine their own strengths and weaknesses if they are to set Kyoko free. This is a wonderful read for kids aged 8 – 12 and older


November – 2009 New Books in Oz

As with the other titles there is still much to be learnt for the Little Cockroaches in this is a riveting read.

November 2009 – Book of the Month, Bankstown Library  view it here

August 2009 -DeeScribeWriting Blog view it here