In this first of a series of middle grades book the reader meets Alex Morningside, a plucky ten year old who ventures into the world to find the famous Wigpowder treasure. In her adventures, Alex comes across heartless elderly ladies, time-defying trains, a hotelier called Lord Poppinjay, ruthless pirates and some other very quirky characters.
I have to say that this is the most fun I’ve had reading in a long time. The characters are fresh, the adventures are imaginative and the narrative is delightfully funny. The book is filled with whimsical passages. From page 24:
“Strange things can happen in the middle of the night. The reason for this is that, typically, this time of night tends to be very dark. This means that there is lots of blackness to hide in or escape to after having done something sinister. And this is why most movies have their scariest moments late at night. Also the street lights can cast ominous shadows, so you can fool yourself into thinking things are more dangerous than they are.
However, I should point out that the two men walking down that alley over there were exactly as dangerous as, if you could see them properly in the day and not in the middle of the night, they looked. Which was rather dangerous.”
There are many of these kinds of tongue-in-cheek observations, which when you think about them, are very true. For those readers who are looking for a great new hero to cheer on, Alex is Morningside is perfect. I’m not sure if Adrienne Kress will be writing a third book but I hope she does!
To read my review of the second book in this series, Timothy and the Dragon’s Gate, click here.