Reviews /

Ada Rue and the Banished

Authored by Kereen Getten
Illustrated by Simone Douglas
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Ada Rue and the Banished: ‘I stand between the boxes feeling empty. It’s official. We are here. There is no going back.’ When we meet Ada Rue, the main character in this fantasy adventure story, her family have just moved from the city to a small town called Littleton. Shortly after arriving, Ada notices rather unsettling things about her new home: a boy who watches her intently; other residents’ strange responses to her. Encouraged by her dad, Ada starts a newspaper round and it is on this round that she sees and enters a mysterious fog. Beyond the fog, she finds the Banished, a marginalised community of people with magical powers. Ada’s relationship with the Banished and the initially unwelcoming community of Littleton feeds an exciting adventure with a satisfying outcome.

This short chapter book is written mainly in the present tense which helps to lend it a lively pace. The illustrations by Simone Douglas help base this fantasy in reality familiar to readers. Ada is a reserved child, who lacks confidence; she doesn’t like speaking more than is necessary. But Ada is also extraordinary, and this is a story about her courage and determination and about acceptance. At its heart, this book is about good versus evil, but the plot deals with some complex ideas, making this adventure more appropriate for junior-age readers. The Banished are a community exiled from their homes and families. The leader, Miranda tells Ada: ‘The world doesn’t like different’. These elements and the themes that run within the book provide adults and children with lots of opportunity for discussion.

I think this is a book which would be a good addition to school libraries or one an adult might enjoy sharing with a child.