Just Imagine

The Train To Impossible Places

Authored by P.G.Bell
Illustrated by Flavia Sorrentino
Published by Usbourne

A totally random, fun-filled adventure story combining trolls, magic and some of the richest vocabulary I have seen in a long time.

This book is a real page turner. Suzy, a young girl who lives a rather uneventful life, is woken by the sound of clattering metal downstairs. Upon further investigation, she discovers a full size train in her living room, something that prompts the start of a hair raising adventure. This is a story of friendship, magic, loyalty, risk and conspiracy, all interwoven between a race against time for good to prevail over evil.

This is a book that I would highly recommend. The intricacy of the plot certainly requires careful reader attention, but is delivered in an extremely clever way, which links several aspects of the story together seamlessly. The character building is wonderful, with lovely dynamics created between the most unlikely of individuals. The ambitious word choices that P.G. Bell selected created some of the most vividly descriptive paragraphs I have read for some time and left me constantly thinking of the ways it could be introduced into a classroom.

This is a book that I would certainly look to include in Upper Key Stage 2, either as a class novel or through English lessons. The descriptive vocabulary and ability of this book to create vivid images in the mind of a reader would make this book a powerful writing stimulus, particularly through the focus on specifically selected extracts.

As with all books that I recommend for the classroom, I would urge teachers to read beforehand themselves to gauge pitch, tone and suitability for their own classes.