Review: The Unexpected Find

BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations



Book Title: The Unexpected Find (available here)

Author: Toby Ibbotson

Publisher: Scholastic

Publication Date: June 2019

Most Suitable For: Years 5/6+

Reviewed by: Christine Ivory, Year 6 Teacher

William is a unique boy and a collector. Judy is fiercely smart and completely independent. Set in the British winter, a vicious storm brings these two unlikely individuals together. Before they know it, they find themselves in the depths of Sweden in search of answers to many unknown questions, meeting a range of interesting characters on the way.


When I first started reading this, I was taken aback by the characters. William is such a remarkable character, one I believe is extremely important for children today. Every child deserves to be represented and William will resonate with many. Likewise, Mr Balderson is equally distinctive with his unusual behaviours but it is refreshing to have such a range of characters that are different from those you usually find in children’s narratives. However, it is extremely difficult to not be fond of all the characters within this book as at their heart they are so pure.


Some of the descriptive language within The Unexpected Find is very powerful and the plot is

guaranteed to keep you guessing. The chapters are quite long, and therefore it would be wise for teachers to prepare in advance where to stop if using this as a class text. This text would be a fantastic resource to use to develop inference skills and could be used as a stimulus for many different genres of writing.


If you want edge of your seat action from the beginning, this may not be the book for you. However, it is one that slowly creeps its way into your heart and leaves you with a warm, contented feeling at its end. It really is worth adding to your TBR Pile.




NB: The book contains one case of strong language (p. 241).


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You can order The Unexpected Find online or from your local bookshop or library.




Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Review Panel member Christine for reviewing it.

Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, BooksForTopics earns from qualifying purchases.  Click here to learn more. 

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