If you have had a child that reads chapter books then you have probably heard of the author Emily Rodda and her popular Deltora series. While I am familiar with her popularity I had not read any of Rodda’s books until recently when I was given the privilege of reading her newest book The Shop at Hoopers Bend.
The Shop at Hoopers Bend by Emily Rodda
Published by Harper Collins Children’s Books|Angus & Robertson
Date: 24 July 2017
For me a good book involves being totally lost in a story and it never matters to me whether it is a book for children or an adult. I got lost in this beautiful story of Quil, Bailey and the other interesting characters that live in Hoopers Bend. The book begins with Quil finding a china mug with her unusual and not so popular name written on it. This find sees her going from uncertainty to finding a place that feels like home, that has more of a connection to herself than she realises. A place where Bailey (also referred to as the the prickly women) finds herself again and discovers a new sense of self; and pirate the dog who helps this girl and woman with his ability to sense good from bad.
As you progress through the book you get a real sense of Hoopers Bend, which could be any little town in Australia. A place where everyone knows each other, a sense of community, and a place where opinions are made regardless of whether its true or not. Each character is purposeful to the story, but it is Quin and Bailey who were written about in such a way that you felt like you knew them and they could have easily been your neighbour.
I didn’t feel Quil’s stardust theory and names she had for people fit with the story. This may have been more about me not understanding its purpose and I suspect if I had read some of Rodda’s other books I may have had a different opinion on this. Essentially, I do not feel that it suited Quil’s personality, but was used more so as a link to her parents.
I have seen reviews saying that Rodda is a master storyteller and I have to agree. There was something about this story that had me not wanting to put it down and I only did so because I had to work and sleep…I recommend this chapter book for 9 years and above.
Thank you to Harper Collins Australia for the opportunity to read and honestly review this book.