Sunday 30 April 2023

The Mud Puddlers

The Mud Puddlers by Pamela Rushby (Walker Books Australia)

This is a middle-grade historical novel by multi-award-winning author Pamela Rushby

What lies hidden in the mud? What might happen if you look at it too long? And what will happen if you let it go?

Twelve-year-old Nina is not happy. Her scientist parents are spending a year in Antarctica, and Nina’s sent to London to stay with her Aunty Bee. Nina arrives with an Attitude. Her parents have never left her behind before. She’s determined to hate everything. But Aunty Bee, an intertidal archaeologist, lives on a converted barge on the Thames. She’s also a keen mud lark, searching river shingle and mud for fascinating, long-forgotten articles from past lives. Nina can’t help becoming interested. She joins in with the Mud Puddlers, a local group of wildly enthusiastic amateur mud larks and becomes friendly with Molly, an elderly Mud Puddler living on a nearby, haunted barge. Molly knows things. Sees things. She draws Nina into the mystery and magic of the ancient river and the treasures it holds. But soon, Nina becomes aware that there can be unexpected and uncanny dangers in the things she discovers. She finds herself stranded in time, in the Blitz in 1940. And she and a very unwilling fellow traveller, Tom, become runaways. Fumbling their way across wartime England, desperate to return to London. Will they ever see their families again?

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