Going for Gold by Annie Dalton

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Going for Gold by Annie Dalton

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: The tenth book in the Agent Angel series continues the theme of life lessons for tween girls wrapped up in a fun, time-travelling adventure. In this one, Mel learns how to face her inner demons. Pleasant and light reading with a solid and sensible moral framework.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 192 Date: May 2007
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0007161416

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Angel-in-training Mel Beeby finds herself travelling back to Ancient Egypt in this tenth book in the Agent Angel series. Mel's mission is to help an orphaned girl carry a powerful and priceless perfume to Queen Cleopatra as she prepares for a vital meeting with Rome and Mark Anthony. After a recent angelic upgrade, Mel's confidence is running high. And as usual, she throws herself into the adventure with as much enthusiasm as an eager puppy. But what Mel doesn't realise is that upgrading leaves angels dangerously unstable and thus vulnerable to the Powers of Darkness. Her inner angel is silent and without it, Mel lacks the radar to alert her to trouble. As she tries to help little orphan Khamsin make it to Cleopatra alive, Mel falls for the wiles of Maia, also an angel, but not an angel on the right side. Maia represents Mel's dark side and so, Mel has a double battle on her hands.

These are tremendously popular books for tween girls, and it's not hard to see why. Heaven and the Angel Academy are described as the ideal girly locations. They're full of gossip, fashion, sparkles, juice bars (I know!) and everyone has an iPod. Girl angels fancy boy angels. Boy angels fancy girl angels. Angels get into scrapes and kindly archangels help them out again without ever getting annoyed. Angels gossip, but it never turns nasty. If you could imagine an ideal tween girl existence, Mel's would be it. And this might sound silly and contrived, but I say not so. Why shouldn't tween heaven be heavenly on tween terms? Mel gets to go on exciting adventures and she always comes up trumps in the end - better still, she always gets to wear her best party gear while she's adventuring.

They're light reads, full of teen lingo - everything is totally, friends call each other chica - and even the most reluctant of readers race through them in an evening or two. And each one has an underlying life lesson for Mel to learn. They're simple parables, but they're fun to read and they are based on a solid moral framework of kindly common sense. In Going For Gold, Mel is asked to recognise and face up to her inner demons. She comes to understand that everyone has a darker side and the only way to deal with it is to acknowledge it. Only through honesty and self-awareness can she banish it. There's a calm and kind moral integrity to these books that make them tremendously appealing.

I must say, though, I do wonder how many Mel Beeby books the market will stand. They are pleasant, if light, books and fun to read. But um... I'd like to see a new character and a new setting from Dalton fairly soon. Please.

My thanks to those good people at Harper Collins for sending the book.

Girls who enjoy this kind of light and fun confection backed up with a solid and common sense moral framework might also enjoy Lisa Clark's Think Pink.

Buy Going for Gold by Annie Dalton at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Going for Gold by Annie Dalton at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Going for Gold by Annie Dalton at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Going for Gold by Annie Dalton at Amazon.com.


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