Saturday, July 30, 2016

Withering-by-Sea: A Stella Montgomery Intrigue by Judith Rossell

Eleven year old Stella Montgomery resides at the Hotel Majestic in Withering-by-Sea with her three terrible Aunts. Set in Victorian times, the Aunts are 'taking the waters' and  partaking of other water treatments designed to increase health and vitality, and attempting to teach Stella correct deportment, manners and other accomplishments suitable for young ladies in between these treatments.

One night, as Stella is sneaking out of her room to recover her Atlas (of which the Aunts definitely would not approve!), she witnesses something terrible, and is plunged head first into an adventure (which includes singing cats, magicians and dancing girls, among other things).

Judith Rossell's fascination with the Victorian era is evident in this extremely well-researched novel. Lots of lovely references to candles, oil lamps, new indoor plumbing...

Be warned - this is the first of a series, the second is in the process of being written, and you WILL want to know what happens next! Don't let that put you off though. The next one, Wormwood Mire, is due out in October!

Winner of the 2015 Indie Book of the Year Children's & YA
Winner of the 2015 ABIA Book of the Year for Older Children
Winner of the 2015 Davitt (Best Children's Crime Novel) Award
Honour Book in the 2015 CBCA Book of the Year: Younger Readers 
Shortlisted for the 2014 Aurealis Award

Category: Junior fiction

Who'll want to read it? Aimed at children aged 9+, fans of Lemony Snicket, the Wildwood Chronicles by Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis,  and Tensy Farlow by Jen Storer will really enjoy this.

Publisher: ABC Books

Available as a hardcover book, or as an eBook.
Find it now, at Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

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