ISBN 10: 1474948618
Imprint: Usborne – GB
List Price: 19.99 AUD
Like Suzy you would no doubt be astonished to wake up in the middle of the night to find a very grumpy troll laying railway tracks straight through your house. And even more astounded when a gigantic steam train comes rumbling through on those lines with a very odd crew and a very nervous postal officer. Not one to shirk the opportunity to quench her curiosity or indeed discover why this magical train should be invading her home, Suzy jumps aboard and finds herself recruited as an assistant postal officer, delivering packages and mail to impossible places. Her first delivery however proves to be not only tricky but cursed and so a most unusual and dangerous adventure ensues.
In an alternate world where fuzzics (not physics) are in place and two rival powers vie for control, Suzy finds herself battling the forces of evil along with a size-impaired boy called Frederick and a bunch of aging trolls.
Despite the odds Suzy and her team are able to thwart the machinations of Lady Crepuscula and her brother Lord Meridian with such resounding success that when Suzy returns to her home safely, an exciting parcel arrives for her – her own brand new Postal Troll Officer’s uniform and a shiny Deputy badge as well. Who knows where her next adventure on the train will take her?
Highly recommended for readers who love humour, magic and a little bit of villainy – probably from about ten years upwards.
Release Date: April 1, 2018
Australian RRP: $16.99
New Zealand RRP: $18.99
Just wow!! If you have readers who love HP or other magical worlds they are going to love this new series. Set in Ireland with a close family of three generations but one that has secrets. Mup lives with her mum, baby brother, dad (when he’s not away working on oil rigs) and great aunt. But the night that Aunty Boo lies in hospital on her way to leaving this earthly realm strange things befall this family. First Mup sees the ‘raggedy witches’ leaping from tree to tree, following their car all the way home. Then as she tries to go to sleep she hears the witches enter the kitchen and despite her Aunty’s spirit telling her not to go downstairs, of course she does. Her Mam is surrounded by the horrible and frightening creatures and it’s as if she’s been bewitched into leaving with them to go to some other place. It’s only at the last minute that Mup and Aunty are able to prevent this but the witches don’t give up easily. Their next move is to kidnap Mup’s dad. When Mup realizes that her Mam is the heir to the evil Queen of Witch’s Borough, she also realizes that she too is a witch and suddenly the whole family are embroiled in a rescue mission to save her dad and the long-enslaved inhabitants of her mother’s true world.
Men and women who can transform at will, ravens that rhyme and cats that talk, illegal magic and outlawed clans, the tyrannical Queen and her evil pack of followers are all part of the mix against whom Mup and her family must do battle. This is one exciting fantastical ride through a new world. It was a one sitting read for me and no doubt others will find it just as compelling.
The next instalment will be just as intense I predict because we all just know that nasty grandmother and Queen is not going to ‘go’ quietly!
Highly recommended for your middle school readers both boys and girls.
Walker Books Australia
For children who are keen on fantastical adventures this first volume in a new trilogy will provide a thrilling subterranean ride through the underbelly of London.
Hyacinth Hayward and her mother have just arrived to live in the country of their forebears and Hyacinth hates it already. One of the most annoying and stupid things to her mind is the fact that there is no mixer tap on the bathroom basin so using her practical plumbing skills she fixes that up in a pet of temper. Unwittingly she unleashes a random but significant drop of water, is grabbed by an eccentric neighbour, Lady Roslyn, and whirled down into the sewers of London.
There she encounters the history of the hidden rivers and their magical properties, a vast array of odd, scary, helpful and villainous characters (gotta love a huge pig in a swimsuit who converses via notes!) and a plot to harness the ancient powers that have long been guarded.
At times hilarious and always thrilling this is an adventure for children who not only enjoy the dash of magic but have an interest in history. Certainly I enjoyed finding out more about what exactly lies underneath this sprawling city and the author’s end-notes and photographs are equally fascinating.
Highly recommended for readers from around eight years up.