Sunday, August 13, 2017
The shop at Hooper's Bend by Emily Rodda
"So some people get made mostly of the dust of one star, and other people get made mostly of the dust from other ones ... And that's why some people are your friends straight away and some aren't."
Quil (short for Jonquil) calls her own star Palaris. The others are :
Aginoth - people who are practical and confident
Broon - cheery but boring
Kell - prickly but interesting
Derba - calm and reliable with no sense of humour
Olmadon - generous and fun
Vanna - vague and dreamy
Fiskin - self-absorbed, manipulative bullies.
Quil has been left in the care of her aunt after the death of her parents. Her aunt is busy and so Quil is sent to boarding school except this is the school holidays. She is supposed to be heading to a four week camp in the Blue Mountains.
As the story opens Quil and Maggie (her aunt's personal assistant) are waiting for the train. They are wandering through a market when Quil finds a china mug painted with her name. Quil is such an unusual name where did this mug come from, who made it. Quil needs to solve this mystery.
Meanwhile there is a little old disused shop in Hooper's Bend now owned by a business woman called Bailey. There are also some shifty property developers who want to get their hands on this valuable site so it can be 'redeveloped'. Quil steps off the train at Hooper's Bend - she has seen this name on her mug. She is befriended, almost immediately, by a small dog called Pirate. In a jigsaw style plot each of these elements will come together leading to a most satisfying ending for all concerned including the reader.
I read this book many months ago when I was given an advanced reader copy at a conference. I wanted to talk about it straight away but the copy said it was not for review. The final published book arrived in our school library last week.
Time for one of my predictions. I do think this book will be short-listed for our CBCA award in 2018. Emily Rodda is a prolific and very talented Australian author and I enjoyed her return to realism after all those fantasy series such as Deltora.
this is a story about coming home when you didn't even know that was where you belonged. Harper Collins
The Shop at Hooper’s Bend is a story with a distinctively Australian flavour, infused with eucalyptus smells, cicada sounds, and nostalgia for simpler times. Reading Time
There are no dragons or mythical realms in this book; the magic here is about following your instincts and finding a place where you belong. Books and Publishing