The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone

 

The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone

Author: Jaclyn Moriarty

Illustrator: Kelly Canby

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Bronte Mettlestone’s parents ran away to have adventures when she was a baby, leaving her to be raised by her Aunt Isabelle and the Butler. She’s had a perfectly pleasant childhood of afternoon teas and riding lessons – and no adventures, thank you very much.
But Bronte’s parents have left extremely detailed (and bossy) instructions for Bronte in their will. The instructions must be followed to the letter, or disaster will befall Bronte’s home. She is to travel the kingdoms and empires, perfectly alone, delivering special gifts to her ten other aunts. There is a farmer aunt who owns an orange orchard and a veterinarian aunt who specialises in dragon care, a pair of aunts who captain a cruise ship together and a former rockstar aunt who is now the reigning monarch of a small kingdom.
Now, armed with only her parents’ instructions, a chest full of strange gifts and her own strong will, Bronte must journey forth to face dragons, Chief Detectives and pirates – and the gathering suspicion that there might be something more to her extremely inconvenient quest than meets the eye…
From the award-winning Jaclyn Moriarty comes a fantastic tale of high intrigue, grand adventure and an abundance of aunts.

I fell in love with Jaclyn Moriarty’s writing while reading the Colours of Madeleine series. Oh, how I loved that series. I was in absolute awe of Jaclyn Moriarty and her quirky, unique and imaginative writing, so I was thrilled to see that she had written a series for middle-grade readers.

Jaclyn Moriarty is an inventive, quirky and delightful writer. I am always amazed by her imagination and creativity when reading her books and The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone is no exception. Once you start reading you are captured by Moriarty and she does not let you go and once she has let you go, you want more.

What I love about Moriarty is that she isn’t like any other writer. She is incomparable. While reading this book, I was asked to describe what the book was about – I did my best to explain this book, but I think I failed miserably. You have to read Moriarty’s work to understand her refreshing and original imagination.

Moriarty’s world-building is like no other and it isn’t just her world-building, the way she uses words to immerse you in her story is original and delightful.

‘The Upturned…Ha! You mean the Dishevelled Sofa!’

The Dishevelled Sofa is a cafe in Moriarty’s book. If the name hasn’t captured your attention and made you want to visit, then Moriarty’s description will.

Her attention to detail and vocabulary is incredible. Every word counts. Every chapter counts. All one hundred and nine chapters! This world that Moriarty has created is all hers and her work is complemented by Kelly Canby’s delightful, lively and animated illustrations. The illustrations add to the book.  Moriarty’s writing can easily stand alone but with Canby’s illustrations an extra depth is attached to the book.

Yes, this is a hefty book, but it isn’t an arduous read instead you will find yourself whipping through the pages and loving Moriarty & Canby’s brave, quirky and humorous work. I am delighted that I can introduce Moriarty’s work to middle-grade readers and I know they will love her as much as I do.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I like a book to tell a story. These books did not. They told about things. It’s true that this is what I needed them to do, and yet honestly. Did they have to? ‘Oh, just stop, you insufferable bore!’ I murmured to the authors.

Moriarty is no insufferable bore and when reading her work, I wonder what it must be like to live inside her head. I am sure that Moriarty could make a to-do list funny and creative. You only have to look at the title! It is enormous, like the book, but Moriarty makes it work. She’s a wonder!

Louisiana’s Way Home

Image result for louisiana's way home - review

Author: Kate DiCamillo

Publisher: Walker Books

I loved this book! I fell in love with the characters. I devoured it and I wanted more. I was utterly enthralled by Kate DiCamillo’ beautiful writing. I wanted Louisana’s story to go on and on and I was disappointed when the book finished.

In a compelling first-person voice, twelve-year-old Louisana relates the story of her journey to Richford, Georgia. The year is 1977, and this adds to the charm of the story. Louisana tells her story with great detail and always includes her thoughts and opinions – which are heartfelt and at times hilarious.

Louisana’s impulsive, erratic grandmother awakens her one night because the day of reckoning has arrived, insisting that they must leave town immediately. Louisana and her grandmother travel through Florida and stop in Richford, Georgia, at the Good Night Sleep Tight motel. The trip from Florida to Georgia is far from uneventful, and ending up at the Good Night Sleep Tight motel is due to circumstances from their action-packed journey.

Lousiana finds out many truths while in Richford, Georgia that throw her into great turmoil. All that she has believed to be true isn’t and Louisana feels alone, shattered and unanchored.

The characters in this book are delightful and funny. I was captured by this small town and the characters that live within the town. In particular, DiCamillo builds a resilient and compassionate character in Louisana, and her observations of the people around her are hilariously both down-to-earth and whimsical.  Louisana’s comments give us so much more than if DiCamillo had described the so-called character trait.

I was starting to see what kind of person he was. He was the kind of person who, if you asked him for one of something, gave you two instead.

I did not understand how someone could play the organ so poorly, just as I did not understand how someone could have a seemingly lifetime supply of chocolate caramels and not share them.

“OK,’ I said. “And maybe as an extra-special surprise for me, you will actually remove the curlers from your hair.”

Much of what happens to Louisana is heartbreaking, but Louisana always makes you smile and her sharp observations of the world make you laugh through the tears.

Louisana’s Way Home is a beautifully written book. It also a beautifully presented book and would sit proudly on many bookshelves. The characters are charming and the language so exquisitely crafted. A special book that deserves to sit on many gorgeous bookshelves.