Lots of children love and need a good scare every now and again and this story with the Invincibles provides just the right amount of fun and frights.
Nell Henry lives in an incredibly busy household with her mum, dad, older brother Lucas, her granny and Baby. When Lucas invites his friends, William and Joe, over for a night of camping involving eating marshmallows, toasting sausages and generally having lots of fun away from the adults, Nell is desperate to join in too along with her best friend Freddie Spoon. Despite originally being told no, Nell uses a bit of ‘Pester Power’ - nagging your parents until they give you what you want - and result, she and Freddie are allowed to join the boys albeit only until eight-thirty.
Sneaking back out after their curfew, Nell and Lucas have a plan to play some pranks on the older boys and to cause some frights. But when Lucas catches them mid-prank they escape into the woods to avoid a telling off. And that’s when the noises start. The growling and yowling and howling. Surely it’s just Lucas and his mates having a bit of fun, isn’t it…
Ooh it’s exciting, bags of fun and just a little bit scary, will you survive the Beast of Bramble Woods? I just about did and I’m sure brave young readers will too. Camping out in the garden, marshmallows around the campfire and telling ghost stories is a great childhood experience and author Caryl Hart embraces all of the excitement and fun that can be had and what happens when imaginations start to get the better of everyone.
A familiar setting and a recognisable activity make the story very relatable. Many readers will see themselves represented in the characters too - I love that Nell is part of a mixed race family and her relationship with her older brother is so accurate. Lucas regularly gets annoyed with Nell, especially when she tries to join in with him and his friends, but at the same time he looks out for her.
An ideal read for those newly independent readers. Short chapters provide regular stopping points and allow readers to build their reading stamina and there are plenty of lively illustrations in orange (the perfect colour choice for a night out camping) to help depict the action. More observant readers will spot sneak-peeks of the real Beast of Bramble Woods hiding in the illustrations.
A delightfully realistic and relatable adventure story with plenty of mystery and the just the odd fright. Sure to leave little hearts racing and pulses pounding. Watch out for the beast… ‘YEEOOWWWWWLLLL! WWWRRROOOOOWWWWLLLLL! GRRRRAAAAAARRRR!’
Recommended for 6+.