Review Blog

Oct 07 2014

Alice-Miranda at camp by Jacqueline Harvey

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Random House Australia Children's Books, 2014. ISBN 9781742757612
Recommended. This is the tenth in the incredibly successful Alice-Miranda series. This is my first time reading an Alice-Miranda and I have enjoyed the experience. Jacqueline Harvey places her characters and series in the timeless void inhabited by Milly-Molly-Mandy, The naughtiest girl in the school and the Chalet stories. These are comfort reads of the highest order.
In this adventure Alice-Miranda and her friends go on a hastily arranged school camp organised at the orders of Queen Georgiana, as it turns out the camp is right next door to Alice-Miranda's father's home. This has since become a retirement home for workers from the estate.
Of course mystery and mayhem of a most enjoyable type occurs. The author's visits to schools obviously correspond to 'research' and I found myself chuckling at the way she portrays the teachers in the book. I also admired the way that Jacqueline Harvey weaves in aspects of previous adventures so that a new reader such as myself can follow the back story.
I was taken by the sub-plot of the new girl Caprice and the subtlety of her bullying of Millie. The issues this raises of trust with the teachers and Alice-Miranda provide interesting moral lessons for the young readership.
This is a lovely written book for younger readers, with lots of fun and humour to be enjoyed. Well plotted, with acute portrayals and characterisation, I can see why this is a very successful series. Rest assured that the novice reader can pick up this title and have no difficulty at all becoming immersed in the world of Alice-Miranda, and will immediately seek to track down the entire series and join the eager crew of young readers anxiously awaiting the next instalment.
I will leave the last word to my Primary TL colleague Kim who says 'Alice-Miranda is a great role model for girls - a strong and independent child with a beautiful heart'.
Michael Jongen

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