When I was a child there was nothing I liked reading more than fantasy adventure stories. My all time favourite children’s book was the Weirdstone of Brisingamen which frankly, although based in a geographically real place is a must read for fans of the genre. I’m on a quest to find new books written in a similar way so that when my children reach a stage when they are able to read without too much assistance they too will be able to lose themselves in other worlds.
The Theft of the Black Diamond for me meets all the criteria of a brilliant fantasy adventure and I loved it. Angela James had a brilliant imagination and Mailliw is a fantastic character and quite inspirational for small boys. For me, it also meets the criteria of having quite a lot of things happen quite quickly, something that I needed as a child in order to keep me engaged.
The book is aimed at the 9+ age group and I think the language is a bit beyond my eldest yet but I don’t think it will be too long before he can enjoy it and perhaps identify with a few of Mailliw’s character traits.
Reading the biography of the author it seems that she has a lot of experience with encouraging children to read in schools and I think this shines through. Although my children aren’t quite old enough yet to enjoy it the book based on my reading I am going to get the other book in the series and make sure they have a good home on the bookshelf! You can get hold of a copy from Amazon.