This brilliant meme belongs to to Book Craic who hosts it on her blog here . Each week the aim is to celebrate Middle Grade books, those amazing books being written for 9-12 year olds.
The idea is that you choose a book, post a picture of the cover and also show the publisher and illustrator. Then turn to page 11 and find your favourite sentence on that page. After that, describe the book in three words ( I always find this really hard) and finally, write your review or post a link to your review of the book. What could be easier especially as there are so many fabulous books being published at the moment?
This is my second MG Takes on Thursday post this year and it’s another new release. This week I’m celebrating The Secret of Splint Hall by Katie Cotton
Favourite sentence from page 11
His long neck stuck out from his stiff white collar in which a paisley tie was nestling.
This book in three words:
Mystery Family Adventure
I absolutely loved this book. It’s a marvellous mystery story set immediately after WWII when life is still really difficult for many people. There are echoes of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe at the start but then moves into completely different territory as the mystery unfolds.
Isabel, Flora and their widowed mother have had their home destroyed in the bombing and have to go and live with their aunt and her husband at Splint Hall. Splint Hall is where their mother grew up but it is a very different place now that her brother in law, Mr Godfrey, is master of the house.
The two girls explore the house and grounds and meet Simon, the son of the previous gatekeeper who was sacked for stealing meat. Simon seems able to mysteriously appear and disappear from the grounds of the house. As they explore Splint Hall, the girls uncover more and more strange things. Who are the men who arrive in the middle of the night to take away bulging sacks and why was their grandfather obsessed with drawing dragons? And how did Splint Hall get its name?
The story drew me in from the very first page. It’s quite slow moving to begin with as the scene is set but the action soon picks up and there are some heart stopping moments especially in the tunnels. The characters are all vividly drawn from the extremely unpleasant Mr Godfrey with his wounded leg to Simon and his mysterious secrets and all of them come alive from the page.
As well as fascinating characters, the setting of the book is brilliant. Splint hall ‘which loomed over the fields like a general over his army‘ is so clearly described that you can almost see the different rooms. The book also moves to the local village where people are surprisingly unfriendly and then into the mysterious tunnels. The setting is intricately bound up with the plot which is full of twists and turns. I loved the story which is a fantastic blend of historical family drama and fantasy and there was just the right amount of danger and fear to keep things exciting.
This is one of my favourite MG books that I have read recently and I really recommend it
Thank you to Net Galley and the publishers, Andersen Press, for this ARC in exchange for my honest review. The book was published on March 3rd 2022.