John Fastramp and the Dakota 3000 Challenge: The book that started it all!   

John is a superb racecar driver and he travels the world competing in races that are often more than they appear.   

A mysterious telegram invites John to race the Dakota 3000 Challenge. But, threatening letters and cut brake lines suggest someone doesn’t want John to race. Once John, Tom, Gwen and Ping get to the race their adventure begins and although new foes are encountered, new friends are made as well. Together John and the other racers start the race of their lives for the Dakota 3000 is longer than they thought and travels to places they could never imagine.  

John’s car, the Blue Spider, is unique. Lasers, special tires, protective armor and many more dazzling inventions are all standard equipment. But will it be enough to bring him home safely from the Dakota 3000?  

John Fastramp and the Dakota 3000 Challenge

Excerpt from John Fastramp and the Dakota 3000 Challenge 

Bud said, “Would you look at that!” and pointed out the window. He and John stared at the source of the mysterious green glow. A very large craft, shaped like a large frying pan, flew above them. It was an often-used phrase but the craft did indeed seem to be a flying saucer! The green light emanated from several points on the disc-shaped object and bathed the plane with an emerald-colored radiance.  

 “It must be some type of tractor beam!” said John. 

 “What kind of beam?” asked Bud.

“A tractor beam,” repeated John. “It is made of light but it can actually grab things. I’ve heard that, in theory, they could be possible. But I never knew anyone had actually invented one!” 

 “Grab things as heavy as our plane?” asked Tom, having just arrived in the cockpit, followed closely by Gwen and Ping. 

 “Yes,” said John. “In theory, a tractor beam’s strength is only limited by its power source.” 

“Look!” exclaimed Gwen. 

 They all stared as a hatch on the underside of the craft began to slide open. The plane began to move up the beam of light towards the now gaping hole in the saucer. 

 “Uh oh,” said Tom. “Looks like Jonah and the whale. Who wants to be eaten by a flying saucer today?” 

 “Not me!” said John grimly. He turned to Bud. 

 “Bud, take us off autopilot. We’re getting out of here!” 

John Fastramp and the Dakota 3000 Challenge was reviewed by Kids Book Review 

I’m eight years-old, in front of the TV cross-legged watching my Saturday morning cartoons, cereal precariously balanced on my lap… okay… so no I’m not, but that’s exactly how I felt when I was reading this book! 

Remember that feeling?

John Fastramp is a brilliant race car driver with an even more brilliant car, the Blue Spider. It is a sleek, low racer that gives the impression that it’s moving even as the car is standing still. Only a handful of people know of the wonderful inventions that fill the Blue Spider, like lasers, special tyres and protective armour! Put it this way, Inspector Gadget would be mighty impressed!

John receives a telegram inviting him to drive in the Dakota 3000 Challenge, an offer extended to only the top racing car drivers of the world, but it seems something sinister is going on. Someone does not want him at the race. He receives a threatening letter and the brake lines to the Blue Spider are cut… but do you think that stops him? 

The race itself is out of this world! John and his friends are up against forces they never expected! A flying saucer, a huge bright silver scorpion with massive pincer claws and leafless trees that can uproot themselves and run faster than man! Are they up to the challenge?

This book would be great to read at night to your child or as an early reader. The short chapters and bold clean text are perfect to help build confidence in reading. It’s the Wacky Races meets James Bond meets Inspector Gadget. A pacy, exciting read.

Look out for the next book in the series, John Fastramp and the Mystery of the Ghost Speedway early this year… and have your cereal ready! 

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