The Mystery of Nida Valley is one of those books that evokes a time and place usually reserved for conversations with grandparents and baby boomers – and not just the story itself, but in the way the narrative shifts the reader, through dialogue and descriptions, to a time once thought to belong exclusively between the pages of an Enid Blyton book.
This tale that begins with a missing girl, Amanda, and her friend, Meg, and quickly links us to a group of new and old friends, plunging us into a valley that time has forgotten. Led there in a roundabout way by a young ghost, in this magical place, the young heroes not only learn that they possess powers they must fast learn to wield, but that in this lush, preserved valley, creatures once thought extinct roam. Threatened by some ghastly villains, the children turn to their adult mentors, especially KP, and each other in order to discover how to not only protect this place, but save it from exploitation and, ultimately, destruction. But the kids have to overcome their own differences and test loyalties before they can help those who need them. Will there be time? Can they live up to others’ high expectations?
Magic, environmentalism and nostalgia combine to make this a book that young readers will both enjoy and remember long after the final page. If you enjoy Famous Five and Blyton’s Adventure series, give this one a try.
Karen Brooks. Author, social commentator, columnist, academic and public speaker.
Buy the book here: http://www.morrispublishingaustralia.com/the-mystery-of-nida-valley.html