Review Blog

Jul 24 2018

The extremely inconvenient adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty

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Allen and Unwin, 2017. ISBN 9781760297176
(Age: 9-13) Highly recommended. The opening sentences of this novel make it very clear that Bronte is an orphan and has no recollection of her parents.
"I was ten years old when my parents were killed by pirates. This did not bother me as much as you might think - I hardly knew my parents."
Bronte has been brought up by one of her many aunts and the butler. Her life is contented enough until she is instructed to complete the demands of her parent's will, an enchanted will that must be followed or chaos will reign in her home town.
The will insists that Bronte must visit her other 10 aunts and take a particular gift that must be given at a precise time. All this must be accomplished without any adults accompanying her.
Each visit brings its own excitement; elves, dragons, an avalanche and pirates are all part of the adventures.
Bronte is a brave child who takes all in her stead considering she has had a very protected childhood. She discovers she has special magical skills which she will call upon when she is confronted by dark magic.
Along the way she is loved and assisted by many of her relatives.
This novel is unpredictable and all of the varied events that occur all become clear by the end of the story. A map at the beginning of the book helps track Bronte's travels and the text is interspersed with black and white illustrations by Kelly Canby.
Jaclyn Moriarty is more well known for her young adult novels and one of my favourites is Feeling sorry for Celia.
If you would like another adventure about children who have lost their parents and are on a journey of discovery read Whimsy and Woe by Rebecca McRitchie published in 2017.
I highly recommend this book for 9 to 13 year olds.
A short book trailer is available here.
Jane Moore

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