2017, fluent reader, Key Stage 2, upper primary, ages 9-11
This is a proper book. It has a thick spine. It is 243 pages long. The text is blocked . It uses a serif font and has difficult ‘a’s and ‘g’s. However, it does make a few concessions to the fairly new reader: it has short chapters, it uses double spacing and includes some different fonts for different types of text. The chapters are short.
Fidge is thrown into a bizarre fantasy world with her awful cousin Graham shortly after her sister Minnie has been run over. Thus Lissa Evans cleverly gets the adults out of the way. Fidge grows in the other world: she takes responsibility for Minnie’s accident.
We have a recognisable story arc: Fidge crosses the threshold, refuses the call and faces trials and enemies.
The novel may remind us of other stories. Fidge and Graham are perhaps like Mary and Colin in Secret Garden. It may also remind us of the Alice book; toys come to life and there is some nonsense verse.
Pace is maintained through the short chapters, a quick exchange of dialogue, cliff hangers at the end of many chapters and plenty of action.
It is certainly quirky.