REVIEWER: ANITA KOVACEVIC
RATING: GOLD BOOKWORM
Fun, courage and heart
Having already enjoyed Taya’s adventures as The Snake Charmer, I was thrilled to receive an ARC of her new adventure. Taya is a (pre)teenage detective who lives above a bookstore, builds a cool tree house with her best friend Chris, and searches for a hundred-year-old document to preserve a nature park from a modern developer. How many 12-year-olds do you know who take on the system to protect their beliefs and help an old man?
Taya and Chris never think twice about doing the right thing in the story, regardless of the possible danger. Their friendship is an investigative partnership, and, just like all detective duos, their characters and skills perfectly complement each other. There is also their extraordinary assistant – a big, loyal dog. This time Taya and Chris are trying to save a precious piece of natural riverside beauty, which gives the author a chance to point out the importance of preserving greenery and environment. History and cultural heritage play an important part in the plot, but I will avoid spoilers here, and you will have to read the story to see if and how the modern can go hand in hand with the traditional.
The author tells the story in a simple, straightforward way, so that pre-teens or teens will have no problem reading on their own, and teachers and parents need not worry about content sensitivity. The author never sounds condescending to young readers, nor does she try to use sensationalism or high-tech gadgets to keep their attention. The traditional feel of storytelling does not take away from the story for a second — there is more than enough intrigue, danger, and even ghosts to stir interest and keep readers on their toes.
Who among us never wanted to explore an ancient house filled with peril, ghostly history and secret passages? And share the adventure with your best friend! This is just the perfect book for a curious young mind with a kind heart, teaching all the positive values our children should learn as they grow, so they can remind us, just in case we forget!
Other titles by E J Gore – Click on an image to learn more.