At the beginning of the year, Amber Lee Dodd's second book 'Lightning Chase Me Home' was published by Scholastic Books UK. The amazing book cover has been illustrated by Kate Forrester but, unfortunately, it appears to not get a mention anywhere in the book. It's a shame really, as I believe that illustrators should be given the credit where it is due. A good book cover has the power to persuade people to pick it up and read it. It can also enhance a story and set the expectations early-doors for the reader.
In this case, the story equally matches up to the brilliant book cover. It is a charming and evocative story. The narrative sticks with the reader like fantasy glue from start to finish. Amelia, heroically brave and strong, lives on a windblown island called Dark Muir. The setting is fantastic; it's a rugged landscape of wilderness and a place full of nature. It will certainly capture your imagination. The sky is grey and a storm is brewing, but the characters chop through the waves on a bed of vibrant colour.
The narrative is a heroic-packed adventure blowing in on a westerly wind of mystery. The characters are brimming with charm and heartfelt personalities that will instantly capture the reader's heart. They will wash over you like a warm summer's day sprinkled with earthy magic as the turbulent story unfolds. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book. It's a tender story of how fragile life can be and family breakups. However, the narrative is bright with hope and the future that lies ahead.
On her 11th birthday, Amelia makes a heartfelt wish on Serpent's Tooth Rock and unleashes a powerful magic that might destroy the island. This element cleverly weaves Scottish mythology/folklore into the concept of the story filling it with suspense and intrigue. It's a powerful story that will tinker with your heart and soul, particularly the ending which is very uplifting. This is a book that champions the adventures and the achievements of female explorers. Dreams and achievements are just one step further than the front door. It's a fantastically well-written story full of empathy and passion. What a shimmering joy to read...
Amelia Hester McLeod is named after two of her mum's favourite explorers. Two amazing, fearless, awesome women: Amelia Earhart and Lady Hester Stanhope. But Amelia herself doesn't always feel very brave or very bright. She lives on the tiny Scottish island of Dark Muir, her mum has walked out on her and she's about to start at a whole new, scary school. Her dyslexia means she's a target for the school bullies, too. When she makes a wish on her birthday to be reunited with her mum, she finds herself quite literally disappearing at times of stress and reappearing elsewhere on the island, where she finds clues and snapshots of her parents' past. Can she harness this strange magic to find her mum, wherever she is? Will her Dad, sad and silent since her mum's departure, start to pay her more attention? Will she find the courage to forge her own path, like the lady explorers she was named for?