3. SCBWI Queensland

Source: 3. SCBWI Queensland

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Quest Chasers – The Deadly Cavern book review by Jill Smith

Quest Chasers – The Deadly Cavern

by Grace LockhavenThomas LockhavenDavid Aretha 

Goodreads review by Jill Smith July 2017

This book starts with a simple fantastic story well told by a student in front of his class.

Quest Chasers -The Deadly Cavern cover

Drew Morris has his audience is spellbound as he describes his life and death struggle, until, the class laugh and dismiss the whole story as fantasy. Only two of members of the class believe the tale could be based in fact.

Eevie and Tommy are inseparable best friends who tell Drew they believe his story. They decide to get proof that the knarled and creepy tree in the local park could really be killing people. They don’t plan on being trapped in a cavern facing menacing obstacles. The dangers they meet are simply horrendous but their devotion to each other overcomes the odds.

The ending is perfect in that their escape should mean an end to the ordeal, but, is it? Clearly, this is the first book in series and one I intend to follow up on.

This is another surprising book that I wouldn’t normally read but for The Book Review Directory review requests.

This is a well-written polished book. I enjoyed it very much.

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Back to reading now, just love it …

After our whirlwind trip overseas we are now just about over the jet lag and I’ve been catching up on my reading.

when the lyrebird calls coverWithin four days I’d read two books, the first ‘When the Lyrebird Calls’ by Kim Kane.

I’d put this book on Goodreads before going on holiday kim kane bio picand read it in two days on our return. That means it grabbed me from the start and was a real page turner.

After seeing Kim Kane at Somerset Literature Festival earlier this year, I was intrigued to see how her detailed research would help the book evolve. I was delighted to see how the history of pre-Federation Australia wound its way into this time slip story.

carole wilkinson bio picTwo days later I’d read ‘Dragonkeeper’ by Carole Dragonkeeper coverWilkinson.

This is an amazing book that I thoroughly enjoyed.

A slave girl without a name learns how to look after a dragon and discovers her own inner strength and abilities. Ancient China, Han Dynasty comes alive within these pages.

This is a series I will need to complete, and soon.

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Liverpool magical musical tour…

Waking up to a Liverpool morning on the 22nd June

imageWe began a walk to the docks and took a ride on the Liverpool Eye. Then strolled on to the Liverpool Museum and saw and eight-minute surround sound film on the Beatles show and the stage John and Paul met.

Left there to take the obligatory snap with The Fab Four statue on the imageEsplanade.

outside the Cavern Club

The highlight of the day though, The Cavern Club! Truly magical with a live singer stirring the Beatles songs and we sang till we had no voices left.

 

 

 

 

(this draft post got caught in an internet wormhole)

 

 

 

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Time traveling…

Tregothnan Estate is where quality tea is produced. We had a walk around the gardens then had a tea tasting.

Then we went onto Charlestown and after that onto Fowey which is simply charming!

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Traveling for inspiration…

I’m certain that Port Isaac has been a sought after destination long before Doc Marin graced the township. It is a magical little fishing based village, with narrow streets and quaint cottages. image

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Book Review – Mr Romanov’s Garden in the Sky by Robert Newton reviewed by Jill Smith

 

Mr Romanov's Garden in the sky coverLexie felt her whole world was grey. The Commission building, she lived in sucked the life out of her. Her mother was a junkie and mostly not around, and when she was, she wasn’t with her.  It was Lexie’s thirteenth birthday and she planned to celebrate. She raced to the shop, dodging Gordo, the tough bully who was squeezing money out of everyone in the complex. That’s when she spied a lonely figure on the roof. The Creeper was an old guy and Lexie couldn’t just watch him jump from the roof. A couple of days before the Creepers’ dog had been thrown off the roof. She raced up to the top of the building to talk. From then on everything changed for Lexie.

She discovered Mr Romanov was just a lonely old man living in squalor. She decided that she would get his place cleaned up. The managed to get her friend Davey to come and help. They talked to Mr Romanov and discovered he was harmless and had a secret plan to build a roof garden. It was a crazy idea and before they knew it the three of them were putting the boxes together and shovelling in the soil Mr Romanov had been bringing up, bit by bit, over the previous few years. He was called the Creeper because he always Robet Newton Somerset 2017wore a trench coat went out in the early evenings, now they knew why he’d been doing this.

Lexie had a dream to go to Surfer’s Paradise. When her dad was alive they camped in her room and he would lay out maps and ask where she wanted to go. She always said the same destination. It was her dream to get away from a grey world and find one filled with colour. Davey had his own dream destination and now their new friend Mr Romanov had a car and could take them away. The three set off on a road trip after a run in with Gordo, when Mr Romanov got the upper hand he made an enemy that would have repercussions.

The journey takes them to unexpected places. Lexie and Davy discover Mr Romanov is unwell, the old car is unregistered, and the old man doesn’t even have a licence. They learn about friendship and what their real goals are. Lexie keeps going even when she finds out her mother has had an overdose and is in the hospital.

I loved how these three misfits discovered their respective goals were not what they imagined. That returning to the Commission wasn’t so bad. I’m sure that kids of all ages will relate to the feeling of not belonging and trying to find a place to be yourself.

robert newton book reading firefighterI had the pleasure of seeing Robert speak at Somerset Literary Festival earlier this year and to get a signed copy of this book. He is an engaging speaker, as a fellow writer, I loved that he told the kids; ‘I can see me stop being a firefighter but not stop being a writer.’ It is an all-encompassing obsession we share.

This is my Goodreads review: In brief, this is a YA’s coming of age story. Fitzroy Commission units couldn’t be greyer and the friendship forged by simply being able to share the worst cards life can deal out, brilliantly woven into the story. Would Lexie ever get to Surfer’s Paradise? Would Davey get his wish? And why did Mr Romanov have a dream about building a garden in the sky?

 

 

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