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E-Wally and the Quest    by Judy Shasek & Wendy Anderson Schulz order for
E-Wally and the Quest
by Judy Shasek
Order:  USA  Can
Net Works, 2001 (2001)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

E-Wally is the 'oldest son in a hard-working family of e-people' in the Land of the Internet. Unfortunately it is ruled by bad King Henry and his henchwoman, the smelly bug-ridden Olla Brac. The king has been steadily increasing the family's workload of information packet delivery 'from servers to routers through repeaters, from repeaters to servers' and has now doubled Grandpa E-Liam's and threatened him with the null bin. E-Wally decides to take action and sets off on his 'bulky, dented transport board'.

He ends up hiding behind the letters in an e-mail delivered to the modem of the human boy Justin, who is struggling to complete a worksheet on dinosaurs. Justin notices and befriends E-Liam and hides him out on his hard drive, downloading an image of a tree house to entertain his new friend. Later he gets him a new surfboard and a virtual surfing game for practice. In turn, at the instigation of Justin's sister Ruthie, E-Liam ventures the web in search of dinosaurs to help his new friend with his assignment.

Unfortunately the bad guys are after E-Wally, and Olla Brac has sent out mutant spiders to trap him. Justin, his best friend Stephen, and Ruthie decide to trap the spiders instead, luring them onto a web page using HTML meta tags. They disguise E-Wally, arm him with a secret weapon and send him off to save Grandpa. Everyone begins to wonder is E-Wally the hero mentioned in good Queen Cyberlina's prophecy, the one to lead the e-people to freedom? And where is the Outpost, refuge of e-rebels, like E-Wally's father and uncle?

So begins E-Wally's heroic quest. It's a fun concept, a new way to look at the Internet and to learn a little about it while enjoying the adventure. There are related lesson plans and activities on the E-Wally website.

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