'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 3 August 2010

Review: Grimsdon

Title: Grimsdon

Author: Deborah Abela

Publisher: Random House, $16.95 RRP

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781741663723

For ages: 8 – 12

Type: Novel

About: Five children – Isabella, Griffin, Raffy, Bea and Fly – are trapped in Grimsdon. With their parents having died in the huge floods that destroyed the town, the kids have spent the past three years learning to fend for themselves. They have had to learn to grow their own food, scavenge for survival and become able to protect themselves and each other from all the evil around them.

We join their story as another boy, Xavier, finds them and joins their household. All the kids doubt Xavier at first, but learn to trust him as he helps to find other kids in the same situation – getting to them with his flying machine, the Aerotrope.

Each page unravels a new adventure as they come face-to-face with bounty hunters, thieves, scavengers, and people who know about the ruin of Grimsdon and can help them unravel the mystery.

I could review this book with one word: wow.

The characters of Grimsdon are amazing, with Isabella being the strong fighter of the group, Griffin the would-be protector and soft-hearted oldest boy, and our hearts go out to the younger three children in their efforts to adapt to life without their parents. Xavier is an enigma through the entire story – should we be taken by his charm or doubtful of his integrity?

Abela’s descriptive storytelling has us alongside the children the entire way, able to visualise each step along the adventure. And, although it is an adventure/fantasy novel, it is more than just action and make believe. This is a book filled with truth and heart as it tackles global issues like climate change and the more common themes of love, loss, friendship and annoying adults.

Grimsdon is a recommended read for both boys and girls.

This book is available online

Author website