Book Title: The Monster in the Lake (available here)
Author: Louie Stowell
Illustrator: Davide Ortu
Publisher: Nosy Crow
Publication Date: Jan 2020
Most Suitable for: KS2
Reviewed By: Jayne Gould
Series fiction can be particularly important for newly established readers, with familiar characters and further adventures to enjoy, helping to gain confidence and engagement. Illustrations can also be an integral part of the experience, breaking up pages of text and enhancing the story, all of which this book has.
In this sequel to The Dragon in the Library, Kit, having discovered that she has magical powers, is continuing her wizard training. Being an adventurous girl, who would rather be climbing trees or getting muddy, she was rather dismayed to learn that libraries, books and reading play an important role in magic.
However, her two best friends, Josh and Alita, are more than happy to accompany her to the library, where Josh can indulge his passion for reading. As all librarians are wizards, Kit’s training is overseen by Faith, who is in charge of their local library. Having saved this from being demolished by an evil businessman and averting a dragon crisis, Kit now faces more strange happenings. Her spells are going wrong, animals are talking when they shouldn’t and there is something mysterious in the pond in the park. A trip to Scotland, via the portal books in the Book Wood under the library, is necessary in order to return a lost creature to its home. Encounters with hostile merfolk and a cursed bone lead the friends to an ancient danger and a plot to take over the world. Kit must harness all her powers in order to defeat it.
This is an exciting read for children of 7+, filled with magic and humour as well as emphasising the importance of libraries and reading, and the power of books. Ideal for children who like magic and may be too young to read Harry Potter, it can read as a standalone - with pages from Josh’s notebook serving as an introduction and giving an outline of the previous story.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Review Panel member Jayne for reviewing.
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