Review Blog

Dec 16 2019

The Land of Roar by Jenny McLachlan

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Egmont, 2019. ISBN: 9781405293679.
(Age: 8-12) Recommended. Themes: Fantasy, Imaginary lands, Adventure, Magical Creatures, Good vs Evil, Twins. Rose and Arthur are twins who have spent holiday time with their grandad. As young children they played in Grandad's attic and created a mythical land where they were the heroes of imaginative battles and adventures. Now back at Grandad's home as eleven year olds, Rose and Arthur are not quite the connected twins that they used to be. Rose is only interested in her mobile phone and impressing the older girl next door whereas Arthur is keen to relive their childhood adventures in the attic. Rose treats Arthur disdainfully and Arthur keeps on hoping Rose will become the adventurous and fun sister she once was.
Grandad decides that this year he will give the children the attic as their own space but they will need to tidy it up and throw things out. While clearing things out, Arthur finds two important childhood memories of the Land of Roar which he cannot quite believe are true - an old hand drawn map and a sign saying "Enter here for the land of roar". While Grandad is helping Arthur he disappears into the Land of Roar through a rolled up bed mattress. This is where the twin's amazing journey begins. Arthur follows and meets all manner of magical creatures in his search for his missing grandfather. Rose eventually joins him and with their friend, Win, they must fight the evil Crowky in order to save their grandad.
The author has used every fragment of her imagination to create an exciting adventure where anything and everything is possible - magic roads, magic tunnels, stuffed scarecrows that fight, Lost Girls, dragons, mermaids, Prosecco the wooden horse from the attic and so much more. Young readers will enjoy the action and tension throughout the book as well as the clever illustrations to support the story. Throughout the whole story, Arthur is never quite sure if the Land of Roar is real or something he and Rose made up. Grandad tells him it is real in his imagination and "I wonder if every child has a world like this only not everyone is lucky enough to find it."
Kathryn Beilby

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