I had so much fun reading this book aloud to my twin girls, 9. If you have a daughter, you must put this on your Christmas shopping list and then read it to them. It is wonderful in so many ways:
- The story is interesting. The heroine, Bronte, has just found out her parents have died and she must visit her 10 aunts, delivering gifts from a chest her parents have left her. She must make the journey alone. And she’s only 10 years old. The excitement builds with each aunt visited – each sojourn provides a piece of a jigsaw puzzle.
- My girls always wanted to hear more. The author is a master at ending chapters with a cliff hanger, and she kept the chapters short, which meant I could pause at the end of the chapter, as if I were going to put the book away for the night and my girls would clamour for more! And brownie points for me for giving into them and reading extra chapters. (I had to hide the book at bedtime so they wouldn’t read ahead without me!)
- We couldn’t help but talk about it. As we read further in, there were hints that events or people could be pertinent later in the story and it was delightful to ask my girls what they thought would happen next and hear their ideas.
- The ending was clever with a surprise we didn’t see coming. There was much excitement when everything was being pieced together. Oh, and we all want to be Bronte. I’ve been recommending this to all the mums at school and dancing.
- It’s a beautifully-designed book too, with silver foil on the cover and black and white illustrations throughout, so it makes a lovely gift. But the real gift is the shared experience of reading it with your daughter.
The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone is written by Sydney author Jaclyn Moriarty, illustrated by Perth illustrator Kelly Canby. It’s published by Allen and Unwin.
Other books I’d recommend for your 8-12 year old include: The Explorer, The Apprentice Witch, Prisoner of Ice and Snow, The Girl Who Drank the Moon, You Can’t Make Me Go To Witch School and Accidental Heroes.