The Train To Impossible Places by P.G.Bell is a random, fun-filled adventure 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 terrific, with lovely dynamics created between the most unlikely of individuals. The ambitious word choices that P.G. Bell selected, create 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 junior classes, either as a class novel or in English lessons. The descriptive vocabulary and the creation of vivid images make this book a powerful writing stimulus.
As with all books that I recommend for the classroom, I would urge teachers to read The Train To Impossible Places beforehand themselves to gauge pitch, tone and suitability for their classes.
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