Jacqueline Harvey (author)
Random House, Australia: August 2011; 342pp
Alice-Miranda and friends are on board the royal yacht Octavia, all set to help Aunty Gee celebrate the wedding of Aunt Charlotte and Lawrence Ridley. With plenty of security and a restricted space, why is Alice-Miranda getting one of her strange feelings that all is not as it should be? The ship's doctor is behaving strangely; one of the guests seems to be hiding rather than socialising; and there are rumours of jewels going missing...
Another delightful adventure from Jacqueline Harvey, Alice-Miranda at Sea is the fourth in this charming series about a little girl with a big heart and a 'supersized' personality. Set in the slightly fantastical world of the ridiculously wealthy, Alice-Miranda's adventures are never particularly dangerous (although sometimes guns are involved) but always packed with humour and interesting characters. Like Pippi Longstocking, Alice-Miranda's energy and love of life permeate every page and draw the reader into a lively, escapist narrative that celebrates friendship and believing the best of people.
Harvey is an experienced writer with a talent for crafting entertaining stories that engage her readers and her skills are growing with each novel she writes. In Alice-Miranda At Sea Harvey is a writer confident in her voice, her characters and her story, with the result that the novel has a polish and fluency not quite present in her previous work. It is wonderful to see a writer who is not afraid to use more advanced vocabulary in her work in order to stretch her readers and entice them into using words of more than one syllable.
Great fun and just perfect for reading aloud, the Alice-Miranda series should do very well in America, where it is soon to be released. Hopefully some bright spark over there will see the series' potential as an animation or television series.
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