Maggie Blue and the White Crow: Following on from Anna Goodall’s last Maggie Blue adventure – Maggie Blue and the Dark World – Maggie is adjusting to a quieter life (or so she thinks), living with her eccentric Aunt Esme and hanging out with friends Ida and Will – not forgetting her beloved Hoagy, the one-eyed cat. She tries to forget about the events of the previous year – but she’s being watched, and one day a small white bird appears. Where has the white crow come from? Why won’t it leave Maggie alone? Unbeknownst to Maggie, the Dark World is waiting for her to return.
When Cynthia, her mum, is kidnapped and taken there, Maggie only has one option. She must venture back. With the help of Hoagy and some new friends by her side, Maggie returns to the place she was so glad to be free of, to rescue her mum. As Maggie learns to embrace her gifts, she attempts to rescue her mother whilst running from the Moon Witches and the Terrible Ones.
This is a book that is fraught with conflict, perilous journeys and unravelling secrets. It has a dark, strange edge to it. The story is masterfully constructed with lots of opportunities for inference, discussion and piecing together puzzles. There are underlying themes of mental health and the exploitation of the natural world.
Sandra Diekmann’s intricate illustrations are something one can get lost in, and I recommend giving children the opportunity to look closely at these before reading the text. This is a great class read for pupils in year 6 and above.
Maggie Blue and the White Crow is a sophisticated tale which will leave readers desperate for the third instalment.
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