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

Wednesday 29 September 2010

Review: The Song of the Winns

Title: The Song of the Winns

Author: Frances Watts

Publisher: HarperCollins, $14.99 RRP

Publication Date: September 2010

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780733327865

For ages: 9 - 12

Type: Novel

About: The first in the new Gerander trilogy, The Song of the Winns is a sweeping adventure of three young mice.

Alistair, Alex and Alice are triplets. Their parents passed away when they were little and their loving grandparents are now raising the three scamps. Life is happy and carefree, until Alistair suddenly and mysteriously disappears overnight.

The only clue Alex, Alice and their grandparents have to work with is a loose thread from Alistair’s scarf caught on a bush outside the bedroom window.

And when their grandparents reach the conclusion that he must have been kidnapped, they must explain their reasons to Alex and Alice. There is a whole side to their nation’s history that the triplets have been unaware of, and it involves their family and a lot of secrets.

Alex and Alice, unhappy with the adults’ approach, decide to begin their own quest to find their brother, heading off over the mountains to rescue him.

Meanwhile, Alistair has landed – literally – on top of another mouse, Tibby Rose, who quickly becomes a friend. The two ginger mice unravel another side to the great mystery, and head on an adventure to get Alistair home.

This is a thrilling tale of adventure, friendship and families. More than that, there are wider issues dealt with here: prejudice, war and a good dose of classic good versus evil.

In Kids Book Review’s recent interview with author Frances Watts, she told us her inspiration for writing The Song of the Winns:

“My partner David and I were on a walking holiday in the Snowy Mountains, and one evening I saw a news story about a powerful country attacking a less powerful one. When I was a kid I used to be fascinated by books set during wartime. They were very dramatic and compelling, but they were very character-driven too — and the questions they posed, the demands they made of their characters, had an urgency and immediacy that spoke to me then and still speaks to me today; questions about justice and integrity and personal responsibility.”

In this trilogy, Watts has shown herself to be a talented Australian novelist, creating what are sure to become classic stories and characters that children will enjoy time after time – and generation after generation.

This book is available online

Read our interview with author Frances Watts