Top positive review
JACK FORTUNE AND THE SEARCH FOR THE HIDDEN VALLEY
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 November 2017
What my grandad would describe as a rollicking good read for the bairns.
Marketed at those aged nine to eleven years, Jack Fortune And The Search For The Hidden Valley has a wonderful Boys Own adventure story vibe about it. Reading it I felt wonderfully nostalgic for the stories of my childhood.
Inspired by Sir Roger Banks and the 'plant hunters' (details of which are to be found in a short but interesting Afterword), adventurers who as the title suggests journeyed the world in search of rare plants.
A delightfully 'old fashioned' story with some amazingly memorable characters, many of whom are quintessentially British like Colonel Kidd whose Indian home 'looked exactly like an English one.' Why? You might well ask (Jack certainly did). Well, as Uncle Edmund explains "We're English. Of course the Colonel would want to live as he would at home."
Asked by many of my friends if I can suggest any books for their sons of this age. Jack Fortune is certainly one I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. In many ways a 'boy's boy', we first get to meet him digging up a dead rat he and his best friend, Will Puddy, had buried days previously, his Aunt Constance despairs of him, his Uncle Edmund, off on another journey into unknown territory, reluctantly takes him along. What is really nice about the story is how his character develops as he identifies skills he didn't know he had, growing as he comes to know of the customs of people very different to himself, learning about their beliefs and customs, oh! and the mythological metoh- kangmi, the guardian of a hidden valley, something the author impressively and seamlessly adds into the mix.
With a sub-title of 'And The Search For The Hidden Valley', fingers crossed there will be another adventure, perhaps another culture (and who knows, maybe even another mythological creature) to learn about, in a second outing for Jack and his Uncle.
Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper
Disclaimer: Read and reviewed on behalf of the publisher, Alma Books, no financial compensation was asked for nor given