Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

North of Nowhere - Liz Kessler

This standalone novel from established author Liz Kessler is aimed at children aged 9 and above.

Mia and her mum head off to the quiet little seaside village of Porthaven to support Mia’s gran, after hearing the news that Mia’s granddad has disappeared, with no clue as to where he has gone or why he has left. Mia finds the place very quiet, and has no friends there, making the best of things walking her gran’s dog Flake along the beach and by the harbour, where she discovers an old boat. She forms a kind of friendship with a local girl she knows as Dee who she finds she has a lot in common with, and with a boy called Peter, who is on holiday in Porthaven.

It’s difficult to reveal much more of the plot without giving away hints as to the secrets and development of the story. There are subtle hints at the outcome dotted within the story. Mia’s stay in Porthaven becomes much more interesting than she had first bargained for. 

This is a gripping read, an atmospheric adventure with an imaginative and cleverly developed storyline that maintains the tension throughout and keeps the reader intrigued in the mystery that Mia is trying to solve, and combines the present and the past in a magical way. 

The author brings the seaside location vividly to life and depicts the immense power of nature. A beautifully told adventure story with strong characterisation and a real sense of place.

Published by Orion Children's Books on 17 January 2013

I originally reviewed this book for newbooks magazine - thanks to them and to the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.

You can follow the author on twitter @lizkesslerbooks


  1. Nice review...this book sounds good.


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  2. This does sound like an exciting and interesting read for the age group and I love the cover!


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