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Friday, 4 January 2013

The Treasure House by Linda Newbery

The Treasure House
When Nina's mother, Miranda, mysteriously disappears, Nina's father goes to look for her, leaving Nina with her two eccentric aunts who run a charity shop in town. Nina soon discovers that working in the shop can be funny, intriguing and rewarding as she takes in weird and wonderful donations, makes new friends and uncovers strange secrets! But Nina is determined to solve the mysteries that have taken over her life - where has her mother gone? Why did she leave so suddenly? And just what is the secret she's been hiding? Award-winning author Linda Newbery grips and entertains readers in her usual mesmerising way with this intriguing new mystery.

This book is beautifully written and once I started it, I did not want to put it down until I reached the end of the book. It is one of those books that I think could be started again as soon as you finish it, it definitely stayed with me long after I closed it for the last time. It is marketed as a children's book, however I definitely enjoyed it and I am sure my ten year old daughter would enjoy it too.

The main character is called Nina, who has just moved to secondary school, however on her first day at the new school she has a secret. Her mother has disappeared and no one knows where to find her. Nina has contact with her via text message, reassuring messages that she is okay and will be back soon but no clue as to where she is. Nina's dad decides to go looking for her and arranges for Nina to stop with her two aunts who run a charity shop called 'Second Hand Rose'. It is in this shop that Nina finds her mother's elephant bag - the bag she takes to her yoga classes and which is one of her favourites. As she hunts through the shop, she finds more of her mother's possessions  and fears the worst. While her father is away Nina tries to solve the mystery with her best friends Max, who goes to a different school and Cat, who is a new friend from her new school, and Jake who works at her aunts shop.

Each chapter is entitled after one of her mother's possessions which Nina finds in her aunts shop. The items are woven together to knit a beautiful story. It is a story which follows a young girls upset while missing her mother, of her emotions in starting a new school and trying to make new friends, while missing her old friends. There is a mystery running throughout the story too, where is her mother and what is she doing. There is also a completely different story and message within the book, which ties in to the aunts shop  - that of visiting charity and secondhand shop and reinventing clothes and fabrics. In this time where make do and mend and vintage is coming back into fashion, this book shows young adults that it can be 'cool' to buy second hand.

I really recommend this book to all my blog readers. It is a book that can be read by mums and their daughters and will be enjoyed by both. It would make a great book for children to read and discuss in their own book groups.

I would like to say thank you to the publishers, Orion Children's Books, for sending me this book to review. I really enjoyed it and hope many more readers do too!

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