Jorie and the Magic Stones
by A.H. Richardson
If your young readers love Enid Blyton, Eva Ibbotson and C.S.Lewis books they will enjoy this week’s review book, Jorie and the Magic Stones. A.H. Richardson’s book set in a magical land of dragons and unusual creatures is from the pile of books I get sent a free copy of to review, and I think many of your children will enjoy this read.
Eight year old Marjorie, Jorie, leaves boarding school to go live with her maiden aunt at the family home, and finds herself caught in the middle of an adventure to look for magic stones. It all begins when she finds a book about dragons under her bed, which she shares with her new friend Rufus. Together they find a world underneath the pond in the back yard. This world needs Jorie to find three magic stones so it can be protected from the human world, which has long since lost its magic. Working against them is a rather nasty professor and a shapeshifter who has been banished and needs the stones so he can rule the land. They have to achieve this in between extra history lessons and meal times.
The world under the pond the fantastical and full of people who are very different to those in the human world. The descriptions are engaging, and I love the language used to create the characters. The story is fast paced and the chapters short, which will appeal to children. I also like the themes of tolerance of others, and how the human world has lost some its magic because of the way we treat each other and the earth.
The world that A.H. Richardson sets her story in is very similar to those you find in Enid Blyton books like the famous five, vey old school England. Some children will see this as part of a book told in a different place, some children will find this hard to visualise. Another thing some children may find difficult with this book is that the language and ideas give it a feeling of having been written in the Enid Blyton age where children had more freedom and few things to distract them from reading; not and age where many children need to be coaxed away from televisions and computer games to read. This means that there are words and concepts that many younger readers will not easily understand. In a way it made me feel sad while reading it that somewhere along the line we have lost the richness of our language when catering to the bulk of young readers. However, if your child had read other books written in this style, this series is definitely worth a try. And if you are able to coax other readers into trying new things they might find this book a pleasant surprise.
I loved this story and the way it was written and I know there are many good eight and nine year old readers that will enjoy the story and relish the challenge of some of the larger words. For the bulk of 8+ readers this would be a great bedtime book. They can get lost in the world A.H. Richardson has created and you can help extend their vocabulary at the same time.