Tuesday 24 December 2013

Alice-Miranda Shines Bright

Alice-Miranda Shines Bright by Jacqueline Harvey (Random House Australia)
PB RRP $15.95
ISBN 9781742752907
Also available as an ebook
ISBN 9781742752914
Reviewed by Marian McGuinness

For a seven-year-old, Alice-Miranda is certainly savvy. This is Jacqueline Harvey’s eighth book in the popular and award-winning series. It doesn’t matter what order you read these books in. They’re quite “stand-alone” and handily accompanied by a “cast of characters” just in case the reader needs a little reminder.

Alice-Miranda Shines Bright is set back at school. It’s nearly the end of the school year and Alice-Miranda is puzzled as to why her friend Jacinta’s moods have become “darker than a thundercloud.” For the first time ever, the chirpy Alice-Miranda has “absolutely no idea of what to do next.”

With the plot of pre-teenage angst threading along in Jacinta’s story, there are other mysteries to solve. One of their neighbours, Reginald Parker (who has been in a coma for three years) has gone missing. Alice-Miranda and her friend, Millie, soon get onto the case. They ride their ponies, Bonaparte and Chops across the hills and through the woodlands while they communicate on walkie-talkies.

As they follow the clues to solve one mystery, another is evolving. The girls have found a teeny entry into a cave in the hills and have discovered gold. The trouble is, there are a few other interested and greedy people after it as well.

What has happened to Reginald Parker and why is Jacinta so moody? With her usual bright and bubbly demeanour, Alice-Miranda goes headlong into adventure and takes her readers with her.

Jacqueline Harvey’s Alice-Miranda series is hitting the high time overseas, and so it should. There’s innocence mixed with adventure and a rollicking good time for the reader, 8+.

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