SECRET MISSION by Jill Morsbach
The polluted, overcrowded earth, one and a half centuries from now, is dying. Benny de Vos discovers as a twelve-year-old that he was born in this future time and has been sent back by his scientist father in a time bubble, to undertake a critical Mission to Save Planet Earth. Benny’s father has given him a unique thought-waving power as well as a list of evils that he must eradicate in order to ensure the future of the planet. The evils on the list all concern man’s destruction of nature. But Benny is still in junior school and the Mission seems to be a daunting task. Using his thought power in the present-day environment, where he lives as a foster child in the Cederberg mountains north of Cape Town, he secretly strives to fight these evils. He is helped by his foster cousin, Emma, and his friend, Donovan, who is struggling to come to terms with the deaths of his father and sister, killed in a taxi war on the Cape flats. However, in every step of his Mission, Benny unintentionally wreaks local havoc. In the end he hasn’t saved the planet but has managed to save other things which are of importance in his own small world.
I am a retired teacher of English with an Honours degree from Rhodes University and some experience in journalism (media liaison work). I live in Durbanville (outside Cape Town) with my husband Wolf Morsbach, the retired Director of the Provincial Department of Nature Conservation (now Cape Nature). Till recently we travelled extensively to the South African game parks. I have now taken up writing as a hobby, and nature conservation is a recurring theme in my work. In 2009 my first novel for children, a fantasy story entitled Shaka’s Computer, was published by Shuter & Shooter in Pietermaritzburg. Subsequently they have published more of my work: The Smallest Planet and The Pachyderm Tree (both 2010), Capture the Light (2012) and Professor Philander’s Diamond (2013). In addition I have written several plays and short stories which have been published in Shuter’s Top Class Readers for English, First Additional Language. In the recent past, two of my short stories for adults have been published in separate South African anthologies. My first full-length novel for adults, African Paradise, is due to appear in 2018, together with a novel for teens, Flight, and a novel for younger children entitled Secret Mission in the Cederberg. All to be published by Publishing World, SA.