Holiday Read #4: ‘The Hounds Of Penhallow Hall – The Secrets Tree,’ by Holly Webb, illustrations by Jason Cockcroft.

This title arrived just in time to sneak into my suitcase and I was delighted because I’m always looking for spooky titles which are suitable for slightly younger readers. This one would definitely be fine for anyone aged 7+

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Polly is excited to be heading back to Penhallow Hall for half-term and Halloween.   She can’t wait to be reunited with her dog, Skip, who she rescued as a stray in the grounds of Penhallow Hall, and has been adopted by the other stone dogs around the site as one of the magical Penhallow dogs who could transform into real dogs when nobody’s watching.

Lucy’s mum is busy trying to organise all the Halloween events and make them perfect for the hall’s guests. When Lucy is helping out by stringing up a bat garland in the stables, she accidentally awakens a little terrier called Patch.  When Patch leads Lucy and head dog Rex to a leather pouch containing a coded message hidden within a hollowed our tree, Lucy realises she has a mystery on her hands which needs solving – a mystery involving robbery and highwaymen.

The code-breaking and highwaymen element, along with magical stone dogs who come alive and can be seen only by Lucy, mean that the story should appeal to a wide range of book lovers.

A great read, with just the right balance of mystery and thrills to be appropriate for young readers after an exciting story with a spooky, magical edge.  With Holly Webb as the author, you know you’re going to be in safe hands.

Library Girl.

*Many thanks to Stripes Books for sending me this title to review*

 

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