The Most Marvellous Spelling Bee Mystery by Deborah Abela
Published by Penguin Random House
Date: 30 April 2018
India Wimple could spell. Brilliantly. So brilliantly… that she won the Grand Final in Sydney. This is huge, so huge that it means a trip to London for the international spelling bee showdown. India didn’t think she would be able to go, and after much hard work and support from the community she makes her way to London with her family. All isn’t as smooth running as she hopes when she gets there with mischief afoot. With the help of her friends, India decides to get the spelling bee back on track by trying to find out who the offender is.
India Wimple is quite an endearing and considerate character, who is kind and loving to all those around her. She is a smart character who puts others before herself and isn’t at all self-important about her ability. I felt India carried a lot of worry on her shoulders about her families needs and putting those before her own. I understand that this was part of what made the story what it is, but in someways I felt sad that she felt this burden.
The book is well written and features themes of friendship, families, considering others, and working together. At the beginning of each chapter is a word, its classification, its definition and the use of it in a sentence. This was a really clever way to title chapters considering it is a spelling bee book.
Overall, I feel the book had a nice feel to it and gives children the opportunity to be introduced to some quirky and endearing characters. The mystery plays an integral role in turning this story into something more than just a spelling bee, and helps strengthen the friendships and belief in themselves as they move forward.
Thank you to Penguin Random House the for the opportunity to read and honestly review this book.