Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Author: Diana Wurfbain Spinola
Publisher: Diana Wurfbain (ebook) and CreateSpace (print version)
Published: May 16th, 2015
Thomas Templeton is the nine year old son of the village baker. He loves animals and hates to see them being mistreated, making him the target for the two sons of a Professor. Whenever he finds them mistreating any animal, he tries to rescue it. His Dad is getting a bit fed up with all the strays that he brings home but still lets him keep them. When a mysterious visitor offers Thomas a full scholarship to the secret Animalia Magnus Academy he’s ecstatic – this is the only animal language school in the world and he’ll spend his school year boarding, often sailing on the school ship to exotic islands, meeting extraordinary creatures and learning how to communicate with them! Although his Dad refuses to let Thomas go, he uses the train ticket to get him to the ship and his adventures begin.
Reminiscent in many ways of the Harry Potter books which Thomas reads, this mysterious school has some great new friends for him but his two enemies from home (and their Dad, a professor at the school) are also there making life difficult for Thomas. The imaginative settings and creatures are described by the author superbly, making them fantastic in every sense of the word. As in HP, there are good and evil professors, children and creatures – and sometimes you are not quite sure which are which! There are misunderstanding, deliberate disobeying of instructions, mysteries around every island and a cliff hanger ending. Add in amazing animals to the mix together with learning to communicate with them and you’ve got a winning story.
I really enjoyed most of this book. It is imaginative, action packed and fast paced – it will certainly appeal to older children. There were a few actions which I’d rather not encourage children who are only nine years old to do – such as taking a train ticket from a total stranger to go off on a ship with people you don’t know even though your Dad has told you not to! Apart from those incidents, this is a great story and I’d love to read what happens next!
Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too, for letting me read an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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