Nostalgic Look-back: Teen Power Inc. Book Series

This is one post I had been wanting to do for ages and it’s now I finally moved my arse along to do it! Long before I got into anime or even knew what it was, there was already a series I was quite fanatical about during my primary childhood years. I only happened to rediscover my love for this book series recently after discovering someone had drawn some fanart for “Teen Power Inc.” (even if I’m 4 years late judging from the date the artwork was posted).

 I’m feeling much nostalgia just looking at the covers for the books in my collection! LOL. For those who are unfamiliar with this book series, here is the wikipedia page that will give you some information on it. It was created by Australian author Emily Rodda (real name Jennifer Rowe) who is now pretty much known for the more popular “Deltora Quest” book series (which has been adapted into a Japanese anime series) but I urge those who are fans of her work to check this out as well!

Before I start to ramble on about how I discovered Teen Power Inc., it should be noted that some of the books have been re-printed in the US under a new title called “Raven Hill Mysteries” and according to the wikipedia page, a number of elements have been changed with mixed reactions. Don’t know how I’d feel about it since I have not read these re-prints but probably don’t think I’d want to anyway judging by some of the things that were changed. The premise of the series in short is best described below from Wikipedia.

The series revolves around six teenagers who have set up a part-time job agency, Teen Power Inc. (changed to Help-for-Hire in the republished editions) to work for cash before and after school. Usually, their jobs end up getting them into trouble and each book in the series generally revolves around one main mystery for the gang to solve; with the narrator being the crime-solver. The gang consists of: Richelle Brinkley, Sunny Chan, Liz Free, Nick Kontellis, Tom Moysten and Elmo Zimmer.

My Discovery

It’s quite funny actually to how I first came across this fantastic series, you see back when I was a primary school kid, there would always be an opportunity every few months for kids to pre-order various popular books and paperback comics through the school from a catalogue given out to us (or at least the primary school I went to anyway). I was never much into reading as a child but was already into The Simpsons cartoon by around 9 or 10 years old and discovered some comics from it, anyway, there was this Simpsons comic collection that I was interested in ordering from the catalogue and had planned to only buy that since there wasn’t any other books I was interested in getting…that was until I came across a page advertising the first two books of Teen Power Inc., but it wasn’t the books that caught my attention no. What caught my attention was the fact that the two books also came with a special Teen Power Inc. FM radio walkman! (God I feel so old just remembering that I had an FM radio walkman long before the portable discman, mp3 player and iPod came into existence! XD).  I really wanted that walkman and decided to add it in to my orders, when it finally arrived I pretty much just shoved the books into a corner in my room behind the TV and forgot all about it.

Fast forward a year later, I had a small project on giving a book review. To my dilemma, there wasn’t any books that I picked yet and the presentation was coming up in a few days. I was getting desperate and one late night I happened to remember those two Teen Power books I had put away so I thought “oh well, I ‘ll just use this then”. I randomly picked “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” (book #2 out of 30 in the series) out of the two based on the interesting blurb on the back of the book and started on it. Needless to say, I was hooked into the story and stayed up into the late night just to finish it. By the end, I was wondering to myself why had I not started reading this earlier? I was engrossed into the mystery, the characters and settings plus the amazing twist to the story.

Upon finishing the book, I quickly jumped straight into “The Ghost of Raven Hill” (the very first book in the series) and also enjoyed the story as much as the previous one I read. Over the next few months I scoured through the school’s library to find if they had more in the series and found they only had a selected few such as “Bad Apple”, “St. Elmo’s Fire” & “Green For Danger”. I actually ended borrowing all of what they had and tried to keep getting my fix for the series. By the time I started high school, Teen Power Inc. was the very first thought that came into my mind whenever my class would head to the school’s library for reading period. It was very disappointing that the high school I went to only had ONE book out of the entire series for loan, of which I had already read back during primary school, though I was determined to find and read all the other books someday.

It wasn’t until after I had completed high school that my mission to collect the entire series started. It initially started off with me going through whatever local book stores there were near me and asking if they stocked the series. Much to my dismay, I could not find it in any stores as by this time the series was over 10 years old and it would no longer be re-printed in Australia, however, thanks to my discovery of eBay I was floored to find many of the books were up for sale or auction. I was lucky enough to win two auctions that contained a large bulk of the series and managed to read through about 10 books in one day because I was just so happy to have finally acquire the ones I didn’t get to read back when I was a high school student.

The Teen Power Inc. Gang

The Teen Power Inc. Members (1997 Scholastic Re-Print)

While the stories and cases for each book are interesting and often quite captivating, the major element that really hooked me into Teen Power were the 6 main characters with their different personalities and attitudes towards each other. It also helped that throughout the series, the books were written in a specific member’s POV which allowed some insight into what they really thought of their friendships and dynamic work relationships.

Taken from the Wikipedia Page

Liz (Elizabeth) Free – Liz is the de facto leader of the gang. It was originally her idea to set up Teen Power Inc., and she is very protective of it. She is the most sentimental out of the group, and genuinely cares a lot about others. Liz Free describes herself as “plain” – average height, average weight and mid-length brown hair. She enjoys op shopping and making her own clothes to wear. The daughter of a real estate father and bank teller mother, she has one younger brother Pete (although a continuity error in Breaking Point sees her brother renamed Danny) and a large shaggy dog Christo. Every Friday she goes to the retirement home, ‘Craigend’, to visit Pearl Plummer and do her shopping for her.

Tom (Thomas) Moysten – Tom is the typical class clown, who likes to tell jokes and muck around in class. Despite this, he is a very talented artist and this is one of his key characteristics in the series, along with his fondness for eating. Tom is very tall and lanky. He has gangly arms and legs, and braces on his teeth. He is a messy dresser, which reflects his messy personality. His parents are divorced and he lives with his mother Grace and her new husband Brian, an ancient history teacher at Raven Hill High, and his two half-brothers Adam and Jonathan. There is high tension between Brian and Tom, although this eases towards the later books as each begins to understand the other a little more. Tom’s biological father, Mel, is a painter who lives in Banyan Bay with his new wife Faye (Banyan Bay and Mel Moysten are both featured prominently in the book The Secret of Banyan Bay). He cannot swim. Tom and Sunny get on well because they both know what it is like to have divorced parents.

Richelle Brinkley – Richelle is the frequently vague and looks-conscious member. She has known Liz since kindergarten, and they are still friends, although they have little in common. Richelle is tall with blue eyes and blonde hair. She dreams of being a model or a movie star. She is a rather shallow character, but at times, she surprises her friends with her intelligence. Richelle lives with her mum and timberyard manager dad, and her older sister Tiffany and younger brother Jason.

Elmo Zimmer III – Elmo is the only member of the gang who was not part of the original grouping in the first book, The Ghost of Raven Hill, even though he appears as a character almost from the beginning when he joins Teen Power Inc. to deliver the local paper The Pen. His father, also Elmo Zimmer, is the editor of The Pen, and the first book traces the history of the Zimmer family through to Elmo’s grandfather (also Elmo Zimmer and the original editor of The Pen) and the survival of the local paper against the rival Star. Elmo’s mother Sarah died when Elmo was very young, and Elmo, following his father and his grandfather before him, dreams of running The Pen when he grows up. Elmo is a quiet and keen boy who is interested in local news. He adds determination to the group.

Sunny (Alice) Chan – Sunny is Liz’s best friend. She is the most athletic out of the gang and does lots of gymnastics, yoga and Tae-kwon-do. She lives with her mother and her three sisters Sarah, Amy and Penny. Her eldest sister Cathie, with whom she used to share a room, got married to her boyfriend Lindsay Shearer in book #29 (The Secret Enemy). Her father Roy Chan is a famous tennis player in America, and divorced Sunny’s mother when Sunny was aged four. This forms the basis of much of the storyline in book #5 (Beware the Gingerbread House). Sunny is a calm and practical girl who knows how to get out of tight situations. She is also the smallest of the group and this enables her to squeeze into smaller spots than the rest of the gang can.

Nick (Nicholas) Kontellis – Nick is the slicked-back cool guy of the group and often acts sarcastic and superior. His father Demetrios, originally from Greece, is a well-off importer-exporter and the Kontellis family live in the wealthier parts of Raven Hill. His mother Toula is very protective of him, as her only child. Nick likes computer games and business, and is usually the member most concerned with the money aspect of each job. He is the brains of the group. He and Tom frequently clash due to their different personalities though they are the best of friends.

Out of all the members, I find myself drawn towards Tom’s character because of his comical personality and constant joking, but on a more personal level, I could relate to him in the sense of having divorced parents and the constant pressure of doing well in school. In fact, I distinctly remember trying to dress up as him for one of the book fair parades back in primary school shortly after I had become a fan of the series though I’m not sure if anyone knew who I was trying to be. The other members are also likable in their own ways but I find it ironic that growing up I ended up more like Nick in terms of appearances lol.

Poor Tom though, it seems he ends up copping the most physical damage and danger to his life out of all the members whenever it comes to their crime-solving adventures. From being choked (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice), to thrown into the sea (The Secret Of Banyan Bay), to having his head bashed on the ground repeatedly til he’s unconscious (Dangerous Game), to being held hostage at gun point (Deep Freeze) I’m surprised he still manages to keep his comical attitude after enduring all that, but I think it might have to do with the gang being supportive and keeping him grounded (most of the time anyway).

One aspect that I would’ve liked to have seen explored throughout the series was the romance between the members of the group as I sensed there were some sparks within certain members, but I guess it was deemed unnecessary by Emily Rodda and probably out of place given the genre of the series, not to mention the book was aimed towards young children and teenagers. Still, that doesn’t stop the (very small) fandom of Teen Power Inc. making up their own pairings based on the relationships of each member (including slash ahaha). Me personally, I always got the feeling Tom had a crush on Sunny and her likewise with both caring deeply for each other (particularly in Beware Of The Gingerbread House, Dangerous Game, Bad Apples, St. Elmo’s Fire and The Missing Millionaire) but I also felt Liz might’ve felt something for Tom (Nowhere To Run & Breaking Point) which would’ve made an interesting love triangle going on. Add to that, there was also possible hints Elmo liked Liz but I can’t exactly remember which book contained that. As for Nick & Richelle…well I don’t really have much interest in their characters but it seems there was some obvious hints (The Disappearing TV Star) that they could possibly become a pair.

I do have to put in an honorable mention to Elmo’s father as his quirky introduction in the very first book of the series was quite memorable for me, in which he does a small dance in front of Liz & Sunny’s creeped out expression when they go to his newspaper agency to put in their ad. I remember laughing quite hard at that scene XD.

My Complete Teen Power Inc. Book Collection

 Yes, there it is. All 30 books that completes the series. All of them except for one (book #25 Dirty Tricks) are from the 1997-1998 re-prints by Scholastic. I know there was at least one more re-print of these books with new covers similar to book #25 in the early 2000’s but it’s this edition that I’m most fond of as the colours for each member is pretty distinct and stands outs, plus the artworks for the covers are more appealing with those silver embossed borders.

With the exception of the first two books, all of these were acquired from eBay with the last 6 books (#25-#30) being the hardest to find. Those last 6 books are even more hard to find in the 97/98 re-prints and would probably sell for quite a high price, I remember seeing that edition for the book Dirty Tricks popping up only once and if I remember correctly it sold for OVER $100AUD! I was bummed I didn’t manage to win the auction for that one but eventually settled for the early 2000 re-print edition when it popped up sometime later.

It’d be interesting how much the complete book collection would fetch for these days since the last one I remembered that was listed on ebay sold for up to $250AUD or so lol, I won’t be selling my collection though as they’re still very cherished by me but I know there are some who are very keen to get all 30 books. If only I still had that special Teen Power Inc. radio FM walkman (I wore it out over my childhood years and it ended up falling apart which I had to throw away in the end) then I’d have a rare unique collectors item for this series, I remember it was about the size of a radio cassette tape in red with the 97 Teen Power Inc. logo on it with the raven that is shown on the book’s spine.

One interesting note is that there is an alternate cover for book #11 The Missing Millionaire in the 97/98 re-print. I’m not sure why, but I assume that the original one (which is in my collection pic above) probably looked too scary for children and a more tamer artwork was used.

The Best Or Most Recommended Book

It’s really quite hard for me to pick out one certain book or a selected few to say which ones are the best as I really like quite a lot of them so I’ll name at least one book written from each member’s POV that I found to be the best or highly recommended.

Liz Free – Book #13 Nowhere To Run - I really liked the setting for this story where the gang is on a school camping trip as the descriptions for the environment and surroundings made me easy to visualise it, especially the scene where all of the members and a pack of students are lost in the bush at night and have to stick together giving that eerie sense of feeling and fear of what’s out there. I also recommend book #7 Breaking Point.

Tom Moysten – I always find that the mysteries and adventures written in Tom’s perspective tend to be my favourites over the others but with him being my favourite character, it’s not surprising I guess. I particularly liked book #8 The Secret Of Banyan Bay as it really delves into his mindset of his family, aspirations and his insecurities, but the one thing that stood out from this book was just how much the other members care for him, especially when he’s faced with danger on his own. Book #14 Dangerous Game also illustrates how much danger he faces with and suffering the consequences (head concussions) but what was notable to me was Sunny’s almost emotional reaction to finding Tom lying unconscious on the street and bruised all over further re-enforcing my belief there’s some deep affection going on between those two.

Richelle Brinkley - Was very interesting reading through the stories written in her POV, at first I found it comical with most of her stories showing her random thoughts that would always be either about clothes or celebrities but book #17 Fear In Fashion clearly shows her putting her looks and determination to good use in helping the gang solve their case.

Elmo Zimmer – To be honest, I found Elmo to be the most boring character out of the gang and it definitely showed with book #10 Poison Pen & #18 Danger In Rhyme being the weakest out of the series compared to the others in my opinion, but ironically, his story on book #22 St. Elmo’s Fire ended up being one the strongest ones as it felt like it was a deep suspense movie, especially with the settings and great use of the weather elements adding to the impact of the story. Book #4 Cry Of The Cat wasn’t also too bad either as we get to learn of Tom’s claustrophobia lol.

Sunny Chan - Being Asian myself, I found it quite impressive that there was even an Asian being part of the Teen Power gang when I first read the books. Though there are parts in some of Sunny’s stories where we clearly see her connecting to her Asian heritage, the majority of times she’s just like any other typical Western teenager, albeit fanatically sporty, even her parents are portrayed like any normal Western parents. Like Tom, we also get to know about her insecurities (particularly her jealousy over Liz’s long childhood friendship with Richelle) through the stories written in her views. While her stories aren’t the best, they’re not terrible either like book #23 Bad Apples which takes a much more relaxed and tamer plot while highlighting how she fits into the group. Book #11 The Missing Millionaire is slightly more on the puzzle clue solving side but I would only recommend this for her and Tom’s hilarious joking about the job they do in that book.

Nick Kontellis - Ah Mr. Cool. Well, if his stories are anything to go by, it’s more like Mr. Okay. The only book where I felt the story really had great enjoyment was book #6 Green For Danger that had some impressive puzzles and clue work for the gang to solve. Besides that, book #24 The War Of The Work Demons really shows Nick’s problem within the group (especially with Tom) and his honorable attempt to repair the damage when the group and their friendship looked to be like it was over, though I’m sure slash fangirls will definitely love one particular scene that involved a lot of food being thrown at each other. Sadly, I do have to mention that book #16 The Case Of Crazy Claude also joins with Elmo’s other two books as part of the weaker stories.

Final Words

It really is great to be going down memory lane and rediscover my love for this book series, the characters, their interactions and co-operation, jokes, suspense, mystery and overall enjoyable stories from Emily Rodda. While Deltora Quest may be her most popular work to date (of which I had read a few books and tried to get into but just didn’t like at all), it will always be Teen Power Inc. that will be my most favourite series she’s ever written. It was quite sad for me knowing that when I finally got to the very last book in the series there wouldn’t be anymore new ones to look forward to reading after going along with the gang on the journey of what they went through including the cases they solved.

I only wish that these books can possibly be adapted into a TV series or cartoon as the stories were fun and I think it’d appeal to young children and teenagers who are into mystery and crime-solving shows like it did back when they were first published. Even better would be one more book from Emily giving closure to this series by shedding some light into what each member of the group has become in the future and possibly their reunion. It seems I’m not the only one who craves for this as someone else over at fanfiction.net thought of at least providing some work in progress epilogue detailing the aftermath of the Teen Power Inc. series and this has given me motivation to re-read the books. They will definitely be cherished by me for many years to come.

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11 responses to “Nostalgic Look-back: Teen Power Inc. Book Series

  1. Thank you for this lovely post!! I’ve got an odd mixture of the cartoon reprinted copies and the lovely artwork ones that make up 99% of your collection . I really enjoyed looking at your ones since I’ve never seen those covers! If you’re interested I could take a pic of the copies I have that have the different cartoon artwork. However it’s only about 8 of them.

    I’m still desperately seeking ‘Dirty Tricks’ as it’s the only one missing from my collection and I haven’t read it before ='(. I know it’s available in the newly reprinted books that renamed the group ‘Help for hire’!!!! Childhood destroyed!

    Strangely enough, I easily acquired the last 5 ones by myself when I originally bought them way back in… I don’t know.. about 10 years ago? I’m currently re-reading them in order as I never used to do that. I also loved St Elmo’s fire. It’s one of my favourites! War of the Work Demons as well.

    Haha I used to read Deltora Quest but I think it was just cause everyone else did. Teen power’s always the one that’s meant the most to me.

    Ooh!! I also remember having a teen power radio thing. It was bright red!! I THINK I might have gotten it from the Easter Show.. I don’t know what’s happened to it.. =(

    • Hi there.

      Thanks so much for commenting! I appreciate that. It’s good to know there are still people who are fans of Teen Power Inc. lol, seemed like it had a small re-surge of popularity back in 2007-2008 judging by those fanarts and fanfictions that popped up back then, if only I had discovered them earlier!

      I’m also interested in seeing photos of your editions of the book if you don’t mind cause I’ve always been curious to know what other artworks for the covers looked like since it’s only the 97/98 re-prints and early 2000 editions that I’m familiar with (cos those were the only editions my school library stocked back then).

      Hahaha, ironically, “Dirty Tricks” was the ONLY book I had not read until this morning after making this blog post which inspired me to do it. I still check ebay every now & then hoping the 97/98 edition of that book will pop up but it hasn’t ever since that one & only edition that sold for up to $100. I’m starting to think that’s probably the RAREST book edition out of the entire series now.

      I’m just happy I did manage to get all 30 books in the end, which took me a few years to collect starting from around 2007 or so.

  2. Hi! I like your post! I’m in the same situation. I had read few books from the series when I was a little kid and I bought 27 of them on Ebay a couple of months ago. It took me just a week or two to read them all. I don’t have 26, 27, 29 books, but really want to read them. The last 5 books of the series are really hard to find.
    My favorite character is Nick. Maybe that’s why I can’t agree with you that his books are weak. I think that “The case of crazy Claude” and “Dead end” and “Crime in the picture” are the very interesting books in the series. In his books Nick concentrated on himself and paid little attention to the others, and he didn’t like Tom (perhaps that’s why you don’t like them). For the same reason I reckon that “Photo finish” and “Danger in rhyme” and “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice “ are the weakest.
    In “War of the work demons” Nick isn’t the one who had problems. As it turned out all of them had problems and issues with each other. Tom had problems with the others as well as Nick did. Tom’s dark side is shown in “Photo Finish”. He had problems with the competition and worked frustration off on his friends. In spite of it, they tried to do their best to help him during the whole story, but he still wanted to offend them, sticking up the photos on the wall in his room. I’d call him contrarious. And his sense of humor is too big for him; he doesn’t know when to stop, when the joke becomes insulting. That’s why he ends up copping physical damage all the time. Though Nick isn’t an angel either. It’s absolutely infernal creature. He’s contrarious and cruel, but at the same time he can be nice and charming when he wants, and has incredible charisma. He’s very authoritarian person, who wants everything to be as he likes. But he isn’t good at it. All of his books are based on his problems with the gang or with his parents or with the police. But I like it. In his books Nick shows his personality very well. So does Tom. We know about Nick and Tom and their families more than about the others.
    Also I like Richelle’s books, though she’s a futile character. But her books are written in a funny way and she likes Nick more than the others. Elmo, Sunny and Liz are pretty boring, and much of their books also are boring a little.
    What about relationships between them… I think that Nick and Richelle had a love affair (at least in the beginning of the series), there were much obvious hints in the books – Disappearing TV Star, he walked her home, worried about her (poison pen, breaking point). And I agree that Sunny and Tom might have feelings to each other. But I don’t think that Liz felt something for Tom. I didn’t notice any hint of that. She loved Tom as a friend, nothing more.

    • Hey there.

      Thanks for commenting. It’s interesting you liked Nick’s story as I felt his character was still pretty manipulative and cruel even when he’s helping the gang solve the cases (“Cry Of The Cat” where he throws a number of insults to Elmo for not allowing him to use Shadow as bait) or only does it if he benefits from the outcome (“Crime In The Picture”, pirated video games lol) or to prove something to his parents (“Case Of The Crazy Claude”).

      The only book from him that I felt where he genuinely cared for someone was “Green For Danger” for his dad’s friend when they had to look after their house. Still he does show he can help the gang immensely with his personality and I can’t fault him for that and he does show he cares about being in the gang other than for the money too. Add to that, I like it when he and Tom have their arguments cos it’s hilarious (“Stage Fright” where Tom constantly annoys Nick with the “Big Bad Wolf” song and “Bad Apples” with his singing XD). I find Tom’s character quite appealing and also funny when it comes to him and food (I eat a lot despite my small appearance, haha another reason why I can relate to him), even Nick’s mother likes Tom (though we can’t say the same about his father hahaha) as well as Sunny’s great grandmother (she appears in book 29 “The Secret Enemy” which you haven’t read yet).

      Nick’s story for “Dead End” was quite good until the ending. I didn’t like the ending for it because of the anti-climactic feeling and lack of closure for the series, but seeing how it was the very last book in the series, I guess Emily was rushing with the plot and didn’t really know how to end it in an interesting way.

      In Tom’s defense for his dark side though, he has shown he actually cares about other people’s feelings underneath all that joking and putting them ahead of him at times (“Stage Fright” where he tries to distract everyone from noticing Richelle’s stage fright, “Dangerous Game” where he reassures his step-brothers about the Work Demons bullying them and fixing the problem sensibly and “Cry Wolf” where he gives “Jessica” some extra food for her hunger) that Liz, his step-father Brian and even Richelle notice it underneath. Also, most of him copping physical injuries aren’t the result of him joking in front of the criminals but more due to the culprits suspecting him of having knowledge about their crimes, the only time where he copped it as a result from actually making a joke was in “Deep Freeze”, most of the other times, he seems sustain injuries just from being helpful to the gang and that’s pretty ironic.

      I think you’ll find Liz’s story for book 27 “Hit Or Miss” pretty funny if you get it (let’s say that it involves the gang in mermaid costumes and many disasters LOL) and there’s a scene towards the end of the book that has just her and Tom for a moment which IMO gives a little hint about her feelings for him.

      Anyway, thanks again for commenting. It’s great to be able to discuss this book series with other fans since there aren’t many who know about it (or remember it anymore *sadface*)

      • I’m also glad that I can discuss these books with someone!

        I didn’t like the ending for “Dead end” either. You’re right, it’s “anti-climatic”. When I read the story, I had the feeling of incompleteness.

        I didn’t say that I dislike Tom. I just like Nick more. And you have to admit that Tom also has dark sides. No one is perfect. Tom’s pretty funny and maybe he’d be my favorite, if my favorite singer’s name hadn’t been Nick when I read these books in the first place (about 15 years ago). That was one of the reasons why I liked Nick more than the others XD).

        I agree that Tom’s sensitive and cares about other people. But Nick is sensitive too, deep inside (though I don’t remember exact examples, it’s just shown in his stories). And they both are lonely. Tom hides his sensitivity and loneliness under his jokes as well as Nick hides it under his cruelty. They are very different, but they have something in common. Add to this, they both pointed out that they love the gang more than the others did (maybe except Liz).

        And Nick saved Tom’s life numerous times (in “Secret of Banyan Bay” he didn’t let him drown (though before that Tom was about to drawn because of Nick’s joke), in “Green for danger” Nick saved Tom from the garbage disposal, though he wanted to strangle him before that (what an inconsequence XD), in “Bad dog mystery” he ran for Richelle to ask her to save Tom from Jock). So Nick isn’t the lost person.

        Okay, Tom copped physical injuries from the criminal because of his jokes only in “Deep Freeze”. But I still think that his sense of humor caused him a lot of troubles. He played much jokes on the teachers (and had problems at school), on Richelle (sometimes together with Nick) and especially on the Work Demons. Even Sunny said that it was stupid to be bold with the enemies when the friends are around, because next time you could face them alone (“Photo Finish”).

        Did you notice that Elmo had changed by the end of the series? At the beginning he was very shy and silent and often went pink when he spoke. But in the end of the series, he’s pretty smart and not so shy as he was (“St. Elmo’s fire”, “Dirty tricks”). Elmo’s the smartest in the group. Even Richelle admitted it. Even I have to admit that Elmo’s smarter than Nick.
        P.S. If you’re interesting in seeing other covers of the books, I have Russian variants of covers of the first 14 books.

  3. I was meaning to reply a while ago but have had a lack of internet access due to being on overseas holidays. Anyway I love this discussion that’s going on and would (will later) post a longer reply but for now –

    I don’t know whether it’s because I’m not 8 years old anymore and now a lot more cynical, but I did acquire ‘Dirty tricks’ (lol actually a few days afer I posted) and thought it was the most randomnest book out of the whole series. I finished reading it and was just like ‘What on earth was that?”. I did love how it did have the highschool setting as we don’t get many classroom scenes throughout the whole series.

    Lol I also guess I was too young to notice but lol is Liz supposed to have baddish skin? It was pointed out in Dirty Tricks as well as with the make-up artist in Hit or Miss. Also Lola if you haven’t read it, I have an extra copy that I acquired when I bulk-bought off ebay just for ‘Dirty Tricks’. I’m not in AU right now but I’d be happy to send it out to you for free.

    With regards to NIck saving Tom, lol I do think he has some moral obligations. He couldn’t exactly let Tom get shredded, also lol he would be the one mostly responsible out of the gang. Same for saving Tom from Jock, I’m a bit hazy, but wasn’t he the one walking Jock, thus his responsibility. Nick does need to save face.

    About the whole ‘feeling lost’, apart from Elmo, I always thought the gang as individiuals felt like no-one really understood each other deep down but still they were very good friends in the end. E.g. Sunny being annoyed in Bad Apples as she was written off as always being helpful, Nick perceived as being in control of his parents, Liz getting annoyed that she was the one who had to care for agency all the time, Tom the joker etc. Sorry it’s just off the top of my head.

    Funnily enough Nick and Tom were my favourite characters although I think I related to Liz the most. Richelle’s POV was always interesting and out of her books I liked Stage Fright the most.

  4. Hi! Annie I’d be glad if you sent “Hit or miss” to me. Unfortunately I live in Russia now. But I’ll be really happy if you send the book here (and I’ll pay the postage of course).

    As for Liz’s skin, lol I haven’t read “Hit or miss” yet, but as I remember in “The disappearing TV Star” Richelle also mentioned that the make-up artist had to keep putting powder on Liz’s face because she went red all the time.

  5. Teen Power Inc. are my favourite books ever. I have also done the hard yards of the post childhood book hunt and i still have 8 to find (even though i have already read them all). But i don’t really want to find them, i kind of like the odyssey. But anyway there should be a Teen Power club formed for fans :)

  6. WOW! I can’t believe there’s other teen power fans out there! So happy to know you guys exist loll. I started reading teen power back in year four (I’m nineteen now) when a friend gave the sorcerers apprentice to me as a present ( thanks emily). I read that book and got hooked, I’ve practically memorised that whole book because I read it a lot of times lol. I read all the books that we had at my library, then I changed schools and found more. We used to go to the local library as well and so I read quite a few of them, then when I went to high school I found the ones that I already read, but I didn’t mind re reading them at all haha. My little sister borrowed a couple from the series earlier this year and I. Rediscovered my love for the books and started rereading and I bought as many as I could off ebay. I have around twenty or twenty one right now but I reeeally want to find the secret enemy because that’s the only one I haven’t read, if someone has it could you at least please tell me what happens in it PLEASE!!! Loll and I really want to find deep freeze, hit or miss and dirty tricks, oh and nowhere to run as well. I loved hit or miss and nowhere to run the most and sadly I can’t find them anywhere.
    I think my favourite would have to be Liz and Rochelle, I think I related to Liz in some ways and I just loved the way emily rodda portrayed Rochelle’s character. Actually I loved how she portrayed all of them, how through someone’s pov you see others so differently but then your like hey they’re not like that. I saw that with Tom and nick, how they kind of hate each other but don’t know what the other thinks inside. And I felt sorry for Tom, with his stepfather and his joking facade. I think that I always saw Tom and richelle being together because they irritate each other but remember in stage fright how he falls over to distract everyone from richelles stage fright? I thought that was really nice. And I think I pictured nick and Liz together because she’s so emotional and he acts so distant but he actually really loves the gang inside. But I didn’t picture sunny and Elmo together lool, I think Elmo needs a nice simple girl and I dunno who sunny would want, maybe someone she meets at the gym loll.
    Also i really want haunted house too! Man, all my favourites I don’t have. I’ve even considered going back to primary school to ask if they would let me buy some books off them LOL
    Anyway, Thanks for writing this post, it made me so happy!

  7. Hiya! Just wanted to say Im only 11 and I LOVE LOVE LOVE TEEN POWER!!!!! Its so funny how an ordinary job turns into a mystery,lol and i eanted ti say you have done a Spectacular job on details about the characters,
    P.S whose your Fave character? Mins Richelle
    Xx Abbey xX

  8. just wanted to say that I love love LOVE this series! Would have to say it’s my favourite ever…even though I’m 23 now haha, the nostalgia! I said that if I was ever rich, I’d make a TV show of the Teen Power Inc. and stay true to the book!
    My favourite character is Richelle (even though I relate to her the least) because she’s hilarious. Like when she says “oh and I weigh more in the afternoons” (case of crazy claude) and other ridiculous things she says/happens to her. The one I relate to the most is definitely Elmo, because of his shy personality – exactly like me.
    My favourite books of each character would be: Nowhere to Run (Liz), Beware of the Gingerbread House (Sunny), Fear in Fashion (Richelle), Deep Freeze (Tom), St Elmo’s Fire (Elmo) & Dead End (Nick). I’d have to agree that Poison Pen and Case of the Crazy Claude were some of the weakest books, however I think Bad Apples is somewhere up there too. I enjoyed Danger in Rhyme myself.

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