It has been ages since I’ve had the delight of reading a new Truly Tan book and the joy has not diminished one whit!
In this new adventure Tan and Gloria are most worried about their teacher, Miss Dragone, who has been acting most peculiarly: taking cooking classes to make delicious muffins, having her eyebrows and nails ‘done’, buying a fancy new bike – all kinds of weird stuff. Naturally, the determined spies are set on finding out exactly what is going on and confirming their suspicions that not all is well with their teacher.
Tan is also dealing with the very disquieting upcoming birth of a fifth Callahan sibling. She is not at all comfortable with losing her place as the youngest in the family, especially for yet another sister. As it is, the Lollipops (her older sisters) are all being as mental as ever and in fact, more so, as Emerald prepares for the starring role in the school production and deals with her first boyfriend break-up, Amber is seething with jealousy having only made the chorus of the show and Rose is wafting in and out of her home-made yurt reading everyone’s aura and communing with the bush fairies. And just to top it off, Tan feels that her 10th birthday – such a special occasion – will be completely overshadowed, indeed forgotten, in all the kerfuffle around her.
As usual, all is pretty chaotic really, yet Tan and Gloria press on with their investigation, with Tan’s diary entries (and the vivid description of which pen she is using) providing highlights of each stage. The explanations of unusual words at the conclusion of each chapter again provide readers with some bonus material.
Will Tan and Gloria uncover the truth about the Mystery of Miss Dragone? Will Tan get a special celebration for her birthday? And will she be able to cope with the arrival of Callahan #5?
All in all, absolutely great fun as always – these are ‘truly’ laugh-out-loud books that will appeal strongly to your independent readers.
Highly recommended for kiddos from around 8 years upwards.
ISBN: 9780733334139 ISBN-10: 073333413X Series: Truly Tan
October 2018 Imprint: ABC Books
Can I just say I truly love Tan? Yes sirree, I do! Since the first one I ever read I found this series very appealing and loads of fun. There is a real trend for detective/mystery/spy stories for younger readers but they don’t all quite hit the spot for the much younger ones and this one does. Kiddos from around 7 years old who are able readers will find these readily engaging and accessible. But it’s not just the mystery aspect which is so attractive. The beautiful, loving and plain old-fashioned fun of Tan’s family and friends’ interactions creates a narrative that is very easy to love.
In this new episode Tan and her bestie Gloria continues their adventures ; with a school outing – at night, by torchlight to some of the creepier parts of Peppercorn Valley, helping out at Gloria’s parents’ shop after an accident and discovering the mystery of some very odd graffiti.
The very strangest part of the adventure is trying to unravel exactly what is going on at Journey’s End, the spookiest house in the town, and why the old ladies have those strange symbols all over the house. Are the old dears ok? Tan and Gloria are determined to find out the truth and make sure they are.
I love Tan’s quirky diary entries (always informing us of which pen she is using!) and the elucidation of more unusual vocabulary – what an opportunity to extend language!
There is such a wonderful ‘feel good’ aspect to these stories with lots of solid values woven throughout – loyalty, honesty, friendship, compassion and empathy.
Highly recommended for readers from around Year 3 upwards.
Confession time: Truly Tan is up to number 6 and I’ve not read any. In my defence, they are never on the library shelves long enough to snaffle one and since I taught my students how to reserve a book, they are even harder to snare!
So now having at last got my hands on one I can truthfully say I can easily see the great appeal to my girls who are such huge fans.
Tan’s family are exuberant and just a wee bit eccentric. They live in a beautifully ramshackle house in the country where animals, paddocks, creeks and bush are integral to their lives.
Tan, who fancies herself as a terrific Super Spy, is delightfully quirky and while mega-confident about her espionage techniques is also just a little uncertain of her status in the family, feeling undervalued and overlooked as the youngest of four girls. However this doesn’t stop her quick mind and creative thinking when it comes to solving the latest unexplained mystery.
In this new adventure Tan is looking after the neighbour’s house while Mrs Topple is on a cruise. Along with her BFF Gloria she becomes embroiled in a stealth investigation of some mysterious happenings: a spooky white flash that appears and disappears, a gypsy caravan, a strange orange car and a shadowy figure all play their part in Tan’s latest triumph of undercover action.
There is a load of fun to be had in these – family, friends both old and new, clues to puzzle over, and problems to solve. I predict this latest will be every bit as popular as the first five and fans will be eagerly anticipating the next instalment!
Tan’s diary entries are hysterical IMO – I love the opening description of which pen she is using (along with any defects said pen may have)!
Highly recommended for readers from around 8 years upwards.