Lizard's Tale

Author(s): Weng Wai Chan

NZ Middle Fiction

It's Singapore in 1940, war is just around the corner-but twelve-year-old Lizard doesn't know that. He lives in Chinatown above a tailor's shop, surviving on his wits and hustling for odd jobs.


When he steals a small teak box containing a Japanese code book from a Raffles Hotel suite, he finds himself in a dangerous world of wartime espionage. Lizard doesn't know who to trust. How is the mysterious book inside the box connected to his friend Lili, a girl full of secrets and fighting skills? Can he trust her, or will she betray him in the end?


Lizard's Tale is an action-packed adventure for middle-grade readers, set in a British colony in Asia as the Japanese invasion of Singapore looms.

Ruth's Review:


Lizard, 12, has been living rough in Singapore’s Chinatown trying to find Uncle Archie who disappeared two years ago. He survives on odd jobs and petty theft to pay for food and the cubicle he rents above his friend Lily’s father’s shop.

But it’s 1940 and spies are everywhere as the threat of war looms. When Boss Man Beng, who asked Lizard to steal a wooden box from an Englishman’s hotel room, is murdered, Lizard is in a quandary about what to do with the codebook inside the box.

Meanwhile Lily, who has been training as a child spy, comes to his aid and their investigations lead them into grave danger as they try to discover the mystery behind the codebook.

Lizard’s Tale is Chan’s first book and it’s a cracking read, full of peppy dialogue and lots of unexpected twists and turns. Lizard and Lily are gutsy, resourceful kids and readers aged 9+ will relish their escapades. I hope there will be a sequel.

$21.00(NZD)

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Product Information

A heart-racing middle-grade adventure mystery set on the streets of Singapore against the backdrop of World War II, exploring issues of belonging, race and diversity.

Weng Wai Chan was born and grew up in Singapore. She now lives in Auckland with her husband and three children. Lizard's Tale is her first book.

General Fields

  • : 9781925603910
  • : Text Publishing Company
  • : Text Publishing Company
  • : April 2019
  • : ---length:- '19.8'width:- '12.8'units:- Centimeters
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Weng Wai Chan
  • : Paperback
  • : 1907
  • : English
  • : 823.3
  • : 256