Author: Helen Moss
Series: Adventure Island
Publisher: Orion Childrens
Release Date: 7 July 2011
SynopsisWhen Scott , Jack and Emily hear that a film is being made at the nearby manor house they can't resist going to watch. But when the glamorous star of the film vanishes the friends realize they have a new mystery to solve! Has the star been kidnapped by a crazed fan? Could she have run off with her boyfriend? Or did she venture into the manor's attic at midnight and fall foul of the legendary ghost that haunts the old house? The second gripping mystery in this exciting new adventure series!
We have a 'Children's Book of the Year' event in a couple of weeks time where the Children's book groups run throughout the local area all read 6 books and then meet up and vote for their favourite. It's a chance for children to meet other kids who love books and to have fun. The afternoon normally consists of games and sweets and discussions and an author talk. This year the guest is Helen Moss. Her book is not on our shortlist but the kids were asked to read at least one book from her series before the event. As I am attending the event too (I run a book group) I thought I should try to read one too. My boss told me it was 'a modern Enid Blyton style', but I've never actually read an Enid Blyton book (I've seen an episode of Famous Five on Disney though), so I didn't have much to go on.
The book is based on 3 kids and their dog. Emily who seems to be in charge and the brains behind the operation and then Scott and Jack who are brothers and Emily's best friends.
A famous film series is due another installment and it's going to be filmed at a local manor house, the kids get themselves known on set and end up hanging out with the stars, but then the main actress goes missing and they decide to solve the mystery. The old manor house is apparently haunted by the ghost of an angry witch and will kidnap anyone who ventures inside after midnight.
This book was very easy to read and took me just under an hour to read. It is full of adventure and mystery and I think kids would enjoy it. From the little I know about Blyton it did seem similar, but they are popular and kids seem to like a mystery, especially one solved by children. For me, it was very predictable, I wasn't surprised by anything and had pretty much figured it all out as soon as it was mentioned. Of course I have a lot more years of reading/life experience so children may not get it as quickly as I did and would probably enjoy discovering the result.
I would say if you had good readers aged 8-12 they would love this book, would be good for boys and girls and there is a bit of everything in there.
I'm looking forward to hearing the author speak and find out what got her into these books.
So for me, I score it an 'Average', but I think children will really enjoy it!