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

Thursday 19 September 2019

Review: The Land of Roar

The imaginary worlds of our childhood seem so vivid at the time, but all too quickly fade to a distant memory. Arthur and Rose are now so grown up that they are about to start high school. The times of playing imaginary games with dragons and mermaids are gone.

Rose is obsessed with her phone and trying to impress the cool neighbour, Mazen, who is already 13. She has no need for silly childhood games. But Arthur is lonely. He misses the fun he used to have playing with Rose every summer at Grandad’s house.

When Arthur finds an old hand drawn map in the attic and Grandad mysteriously disappears, memories begin surface. What if those games they used to play, weren’t just games?

Rose isn’t interested in remembering. Of course the old black rocking horse was never a real Moonlight Stallion. And the Z-bed was not a secret entrance to the land of Roar, it was just an old fold up bed that Arthur probably weed in. They were just silly childish games. But Arthur is sure there's more to their childhood games than either of them can remember. How will he convince Rose that Grandad is in danger?

And so begins the adventure to the Land of Roar, a magical land of the imagination. A ninja wizard, a mermaid, dragons and an evil scarecrow/crow named Crowky. On their adventure, Arthur and Rose will not only have to rescue Grandad, but also remember how to work together and tap into their memories and imaginations if they are going to succeed.

This is a great middle grade fantasy adventure that is fun and easy to read. The black and white illustrations interspersed throughout will appeal to kids who might otherwise shy away from a longer adventure story. It’s very topical for those upper primary kids caught between their childhood world and the desperate desire to grow up. A reminder that it's OK to have fun and surrender to your imagination.

Title: The Land of Roar
Author: Jenny McLachlan
Illustrator: Ben Mantle
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont, $16.99
Publication Date: 1 September 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781405293679
For ages: 8 – 12
Type: Middle Grade