A Girl Called Owl the first book in this gorgeous series, was our last book read for the children’s book group Kid Lit Readers and it was a highlight of a book to end on, such a magical and unusual story. So I’m, of course, completely thrilled to be back to welcome the next book in this series Owl and the Lost Boy written by Amy Wilson and published by Macmillan.
In this sequel, Owl, Jack Frost’s daughter, has found herself stuck in an eternal summer! Some people might not mind that, but not Owl, not only does she want the cool weather to return, she also knows it’s a sign of trouble ahead. With her friend Alberic missing and this perpetual season, Owl knows she has to act fast, find her friend and get the seasons back on track.
I firstly have to focus on the covers, because I am a book cover girl, I always judge books by their cover, so nothing pleases me more when a book design is done well, and Owl and the Lost Boy is stunning!!! (yes three exclamation marks are required). A Girl Called Owl has also had a redesign to match, so now both books have gorgeous pink and purple hues on the cover with glittering details that hint at the glitter and magic inside. They make such a lovely pair, perfect for gifting. I do think it’s so important to make beautiful looking books, as it’s a way to entice children to take a trip inside a book, so I was so happy to see these books side by side in all their aesthetic beauty. I mean that design is second to none!
As you can imagine, and as the book covers hint, this story is a fantastical, magical adventure. Owl is the most wonderful multi-dimensional character, full of bravery and spirit who I grew to love even more since the last book. She is absolutely the shining example of a strong female role model.
The supporting characters through the story are equally strong, there’s no filler people here, everyone has a role to play and everyone something different yet equally valuable to offer.
Along with a magical story about friendship and nature, Amy’s writing is completely beautiful. This is the kind of short novel that doesn’t hold back on interesting and poetic language just because it’s for children. Anything but, it’s a story so beautifully told, with characters you can easily empathise with along with stunningly creative world building. This is a unique ride of a story that you can’t help but love every minute of, escapism at its best!
Enough of me waffling, even if it is about a fabulous book! Now over to Amy who I’m thrilled to welcome onto the blog to chat about libraries!!
The first memory I have of a library is of my father and I coming home with Harry the Dirty Dog, by Margaret Bloy Graham, for about the fifth time. I think he was very amused that we’d had to borrow the book again, but I loved it, so he read it – again – and it’s a really treasured memory.
Thornbury Library, in the town where I grew up, near Bristol, was the first I knew, and the one we would head to every Saturday morning. As I got older I’d go on my own, with a letter from my mother saying I could borrow adult books if I liked. I read anything and everything, and I was always really nervous getting the crumpled letter out, but the librarians were very friendly, and they grew to expect it!
Libraries are magical places. I use that word a lot, writing about magic as I do, but they really are. You might go in with a list of everything you’d like to read, or to pick up books you’ve previously ordered, but what you’ll come out with once you’ve had a wander is a complete mystery. And every book, aside from being an adventure in itself, has been on such a journey. I love to think about who might have borrowed it last week, or ten years ago.
Now, I take my children. We’ve been to Bristol Central Library, which I love because it’s so big and so busy with people reading, writing, working – and children running around discovering new passions. And we go to Downend Library, which is our closest. The kids enter with the same look in their eyes that I remember having – they’re entering a world of possibility, about to embark on a dozen new adventures, and all for free, for as long as we fight to keep them open. I don’t want to imagine a world without them.
Thank you so much to Amy for that lovely evocative piece on the importance of libraries.
Owl and the Lost Boy is available from all good bookshops and libraries from October 15th, 2020. If you would like to support an independent shop, you can purchase a copy from my affiliate shop Bear Hunt Books
(I receive a small amount for every book purchase which I use towards purchasing more books from them to share with you.)
Or you can find an indie bookshop near to you.
Thank you for reading this magical Book Monster review!