Next up from the fabulous Philippa Dowding is the next book in her Weird Stories Gone Wrong series. This is not a sequential series in which you must read each book in order, but instead this is a series in which you can always expect to be entertained and spooked out just a little bit. In my last review of a Weird Stories Gone Wrong title I reckoned it to a modern “Goosebumps” series. But better.
The Blackwell children like sailing. Emma has always liked mermaids, and her twin, Jonah, has always liked pirates, and their brother William has always been a good captain – or he’s tried to be, when his siblings will stop fighting long enough to listen to him. When they become adrift in a windless fog and run aground on a strange island, their simple sailing day because a terrifying nightmare! Soon they will face off against pirate zombies and mermaids that aren’t so sweet and pretty, and even cursed ship figureheads will join in the fray.
Once again author Dowding has managed to write a story that is both spooky and yet readable at an early level. This is a book for young readers and it will easily capture their attention (what elementary student isn’t interested in pirates and mermaids?!), get them excited by the danger, and satisfy with ending.
Dowding understands her audience and writes masterfully for them. She doesn’t write down or simplify unnecessarily but manages to challenge her audience by providing an exciting, engaging story that makes them want to work just enough to grow as readers. It is precisely what good fiction for this aged reader is supposed to do.
The illustrations by Shawna Daigle are perfectly suited for the story and the reader.
Looking for a good book? If your young reader likes mermaids, pirates, zombies, or any host of spooky sea creatures but you want to provide a safe reading environment, then Blackwells and the Briny Deep by Philippa Dowding is definitely the book you want to provide. And if you or your young reader just like a rollicking good adventure with a little bit of eerie thrown in, you won’t go wrong here.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
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Blackwells and the Briny Deep
author: Philippa Dowding
artist: Shawna Daigle
series: Weird Stories Gone Wrong
paperback, 144 pages