Friday, November 18, 2016

Withering by Sea by Judith Rossell - ESSENTIAL

Rossell, Judith Withering by Sea, 261 pgs. Simon & Schuster (Atheneum), 2016 (2014 Australia). $16.99. Language: G (0 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG (children in peril).  

11-year-old orphan Stella Montgomery lives in a resort hotel with her 3 very strict Aunts.  One night, while rescuing a favorite book from the hotel’s greenhouse, Stella witnesses something terrible which puts her and the object she found in grave danger.  

An evil magician, ancient spirits and a group of “entertaining” cats make this mystery set in 19th century Australia an exciting adventure.  Stella is delightful. She’s perky and resilient, also smart and brave; a great main character that both boys and girls can relate to.  Although the setting is very old fashioned, Rossell’s writing is vibrant and descriptive.  I enjoyed the intrigue and the theater connection quite a lot.  

EL, MS - ESSENTIAL  Lisa Librarian

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