Never stop believing…
11-year-old twins Arthur and Rose used to be the best of friends but now one of them is too cool to be involved in the other’s childish games. Rose has moved on from their childhood games and now prefers to stare at her mobile phone screen, watch YouTube videos and hang out with 13-year-old Mazen. Arthur doesn’t want to leave his childhood behind but with the start of high school looming the need to grow up seems ever more pressing. Spending their last summer at their Grandad’s house before starting high school the twins are clearing out the attic, once the place of their childhood games. When Arthur finds an old map in the attic it brings memories of childhood adventures flooding back. But Rose isn’t interested, the days when the fold up camp bed was the secret entrance to the land of Roar are long gone. To her, it is now just a mattress that Arthur probably weed in and the rocking horse in the corner is exactly that, not the Moonlight Stallion it once was.
Arthur struggles to make sense of the game they used to play, was it all just in his imagination or could it have been real? Rose is adamant that is was nothing more than make-believe play and refuses to even allow thought of it being real to enter her head. But when Grandad mysteriously disappears and then Arthur, Rose is left with no choice but to journey back to the land of Roar. Roar is falling apart and the land of wizards, unicorns, mermaids and dragons that the children once knew has dramatically changed. Everyone has been waiting for the twins to return to the land of Roar, including the menacing Crowky - a cross between a crow and a scarecrow. The out of control scarecrow threatens the very existence of Roar and the children will need to work together like never before if everyone is to make it out alive…
This is one ROAR-SOME adventure. It is a middle-grade fantasy adventure filled with mystical creatures, magical places and secret portals. All children at some point invent a world that they visit in their imagination and Roar is a celebration of childhood imagination, where anything is possible. I love the land that has been created by the twins. The place names and the pictures exude childhood creativity. McLachlan has even used misspellings to add more authenticity to this world of make-believe. The map has the word ‘SECRIT’ written on it and the headboard has ‘ENTUR HEER FOR THE LAND OF ROAR!!!’ scratched into it.
I love how the relationship between the twins developed. Inseparable when they were younger they are rapidly growing apart as they grow up. Ultimately though, they stand strong together in a time of need and although they may be starting to go their separate ways and high school will bring further challenges they show that their sibling bond will never be broken. I must give a mention to my favourite character, Win or Wininja - a cross between a wizard and a ninja. His carefree attitude provides plenty of humour and he is full of positivity even in the most perilous of situations. His wizard-ing skills are not quite up to his ninja skills but I can never fault his effort.
The illustrations are fantastic and bring to life the land of Roar. I love the double page artwork.
The Land of Roar is wonderfully imaginative and imaginatively wonderful… you’re never too old to have fun.
Recommended for 8+.
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