The bonehill curse by Jon Mayhew
Bloomsbury 2012. ISBN 978 1 4088 0397 4.
Recommended for middle school students who like adventure. Necessity Bonehill is not your average Victorian English schoolgirl. Although at a school for young ladies she is not the least bit interested in being a lady. Ness is more interested in fighting and learning boxing, sword craft and rifle shooting from the Sergeant Major. When she receives a mysterious bottle from her uncle with strict instructions not to open it, of course she does with disastrous results as the djinn she releases grants her one wish that will happen in seven days but cost her everything. After an accident at her school Ness escapes to London where she discovers that she has been dead for five years. When Ness meets Azuli from the Lashkars of Sulayman she begins to unravel the mystery that surrounds her and her family. She learns many unpleasant facts about the people she cares about but especially her beloved father.
The story moves along at a fast pace, Ness proves to be both brave and resourceful. She needs to be given what she is up against. As the action moves between Victorian London and the sands of Africa Ness learns more about her family and the Bonehill curse. The interaction between her and Azuli is well done and the mixture of the real and the supernatural work well together to make a satisfying whole. The unexpected conclusion neatly brings together the various strands.