Thursday, 12 April 2012
Review of The Strange Affair.......
Set in the immediate post World War II landscape, The Strange Affair of the Ethiopian Treasure Chest embraces childhood experiences of those times in a short story. Woven into a carefree world of friendly “gangs”, secret dens and home-made excitement with not an X-box in sight, the narrator, Brian, relates his involvement in tracking down burglars, out-doing the police and winning a hefty reward.
I thoroughly enjoyed the read; the simple structure introduces the characters, context and setting in the opening chapters thus putting a young, fluent reader at ease. The tone is chatty and informal. The descriptions in this short 96 page story, particularly of the slimy slug policeman and the scary (or not so scary) old woman, add colour to what is a textually heavy book for this audience. The illustrations are fabulous; black and white and pen and ink, but are few and far between making this an ideal transition between picture-heavy early reads and full length novels.
Satisfying from start to finish, full of discussion possibilities about childhood in the 1950’s and 60’s, I recommend this book as a good old-fashioned (in the best sense of the word!) adventure.
Janet Sims, School Librarian Journal, 59 (Summer 2011)