Holiday Read #2 ‘The Bookshop Girl,’ by Sylvia Bishop, illustrated by Ashley King.

Strictly speaking, this isn’t just a holiday read as it was actually started as my son’s bedtime story back in England and we’ve just finished it tonight. But I think I can allow a little flexibility on the ‘holiday read’ point.

It was the title of the book which first attracted me and the premise that you could live in a bookshop – I would LOVE to do that! My suspicions were confirmed when I saw Ashley King’s magnificent cover where the main character (Property Jones) is twirling joyously in a cyclone of books #goals

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Property Jones and her adoptive family run a lovely (if unprofitable) bookshop. They don’t have much money but are all very happy doing something they love. Property is especially happy there, which is surprising given the enormous secret she’s keeping – she can’t actually read! However, she does have a keen appreciation for the aesthetics of books – their smell, weight, cracks on their spines. The little details are just as beautiful as the words to her.

One day, Netty and Michael become very excited when they read about something wonderful in the newspaper. Property pretends to be equally excited and uses her finest detective skills to uncover what on Earth they’re so excited about. It turns out that they could be in with a chance of winning the world-famous Montgomery Book Emporium in a raffle. All they have to do is enter.

For those of you thinking that sounds too good to be true, you’d be right. The previous owner of the emporium is harbouring a secret. A secret which could cost the Joneses everything they own.

Property must use all her wit, ingenuity and powers of observation to trick an arch-trickster and save her family’s home.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, so much so that I’ve now read it twice. There’s enough excitement and tension to engage all readers and plenty of bookish-love to please bookworms like myself. Ashley King’s beautiful and humorous illustrations greatly add to the reading experience.  I can only dream in settling down to sleep in The Room of Desert Islands or The Room of Space Stories.

Goodnight and sleep tight.

Library Girl.

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