Review Blog

Apr 16 2020

Elizabella and the haunting of Lizard Lake by Zoe Norton Lodge

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Illus. by Georgia Norton Lodge. Elizabella book 3. Walker Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781760651855.
(Age: 8-11years) Recommended. The third book in this entertaining series begins with Elizabella and her best friend Minnie in the Bilby Creek swimming pool talking about the Year 4 school camp. They are trying to decide which mischievous deeds they could get up to that would have the most impact. This sets the tone of the story and the reader will wait in anticipation for what comes next. The two girls are in separate bunk rooms at camp but this does not stop them meeting up at night and trying to solve the mystery of the suspected ghost that haunts the camp site. Both girls spend time in 'the think about what you've done' room at camp after causing great anxiety for the camp counsellors and school principal.
Within the main plot involving Elizabella there are a number of sub plots. Mr Gooblefrump, the Acting Principal, has been told to have a vacation to lower his stress levels so he decides to go on camp as he loves rules and believes the camp rules will release the happy chemicals he needs to function. Larry, the frill-neck lizard belonging to Elizabella, has stowed away in her bag in the hope of meeting like-minded lizards to converse with. He understands English perfectly but cannot speak it so hopes to encounter other lizards who can speak the language of Lizish. The missing camp counsellor who disappeared under mysterious circumstances is helped by Elizabella and Minnie on the final evening. There is also a new student Anaya whom the other children think is a liar but who surprises them in the end.
The characters in this story are all very likeable and believable. Mrs Goose, the camp cook, takes Elizabella under her wing, the three Camp Counsellors are forever happy even when they are not, Elizabella's classmates and friends are always wondering what will happen next and Elizabella and Minnie are somewhat oblivious to the mayhem they cause.
Throughout the book are small sketches that cleverly add interest to the story. At the end of the book is a Revenge Plan as well as a fairy tale written by Elizabella.
Elizabella and the haunting of Lizard Lake is an enjoyable read that will keep fans of Elizabella entertained and looking for the next book in the series. Themes: Friendship, School camp, Mystery, Humour.
Kathryn Beilby

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