AUTHOR:A.J. Hartley INFO:Paperback, Fiction, 431 pages PUBLISHED:Penguin Razorbill, 2011 SOURCE:Received from Publisher for Review
FROM GOODREADS:Eleven-year-old Darwen Arkwright has spent his whole life in a tiny town in England. So when he is forced to move to Atlanta, Georgia, to live with his aunt, he knows things will be different – but what he finds there is beyond even his wildest imaginings!
Darwen discovers an enchanting world through the old mirror hanging in his closet – a world that holds as many dangers as it does wonders. Scrobblers on motorbikes with nets big enough to fit a human boy. Gnashers with no eyes, but monstrous mouths full of teeth. Flittercrakes with bat-like bodies and the faces of men. Along with his new friends Rich and Alexandra, Darwen becomes entangled in an adventure and a mystery that involves the safety of his entire school. They soon realize that the creatures are after something in our world – something that only human children possess.
MY TAKE: I love being taken on new adventures. Darwen Arkwright takes us on a grand one with his new American friends. In Darwen, A.J. Wright has created a very likable and relatable hero. Darwen is truly a fish out of the water when he’s dropped into a new life in America. The proper young English boy is having a hard time fitting in when he accidentally sees a strange creature in the mall and follows it into a dusty old mirror shop. Little does he know that the odd owner of the shop will soon set him on a dangerous and mysterious path to a world on the other side of a magical mirror.
This is a fast-paced and fun story that will appeal to adventurous explorers of all ages. I especially think that boys of about 9 or older will get a kick out of the various creatures and gadgets that Darwen comes across. Wannabe archaeologist Rich is a stalwart friend to Darwen as well as an interesting character on his own. Girls will enjoy the eccentric Alexandra as she becomes a surprisingly stout supporter of the awkward Darwen. I was quite engrossed in the tale and enjoyed imagining the creatures that the author described.
This story is destined to be a classic and definitely has a place on the keeper shelf. I highly recommend this story, especially if you or the kids like jumping into another world for a while.Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact would also make a great gift this holiday season. I have a couple of young readers in mind to receive a copy.
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