The Brockenspectre by Linda Newbery

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The Brockenspectre by Linda Newbery

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Lovely story of a boy searching for his missing father. It has the traditional feel of a fable but underlying it is Newbery's trademark honesty and compassion. We loved it.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 192 Date: November 2014
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 0857551566

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Tommi lives up in the mountains with his parents and his baby sister. Mamma is artistic and paints beautiful designs on chairs and stools and planters for tourists to buy. Pappi is a mountain guide and Tommi's hero - brave and fearless and a lover of his wild mountain home. Tommi wants nothing more than to be like Pappi. But things aren't peaceful at home. Pappi is only truly happy by himself, out amongst the peaks. After just a day or two at home without guiding work, he becomes irritable and critical of Mammi and his children.

After an argument one day, Pappi strides out of the house and onto the mountain. And he doesn't return.

Tommi knows it's up to him to find his father and so he sets out up the mountain, where dangers lurk around every corner. It's not just rock falls and avalanches that Tommi fears either. Pappi has told him stories of a strange, ghostly monster that lives in the high lands. Will Tommi find his father before the Brockenspectre finds Tommi?

Oh aww. This is such a lovely story. It has the traditional feel of a fable but underlying it is Newbery's trademark honesty and compassion. You feel tremendously sorry for Tommi, who loves his father with a huge passion. Even though it's obvious to the reader that Pappi is a difficult and selfish man, Tommi doesn't see it. Like most children, he thinks the fault is in himself: he's not good enough, not brave enough, he'll never live up to Pappi. So you really want his quest to succeed. You want Tommi to prove himself.

And prove himself he does. But this is Linda Newbery, so expect the resolution to be more complicated and truthful than easy heroism. It's truly satisfying, though.

Does Tommi meet a Brockenspectre? Yes, he does. But I'll leave the truth of it to you, when you read this lovely little book. As I write this review, we're in the run-up to Christmas and I can't think of a better choice for a gift for a child.

I think you might also enjoy Mad Dog Moonlight by Pauline Fisk or Ice Maiden by Sally Prue.

Buy The Brockenspectre by Linda Newbery at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Brockenspectre by Linda Newbery at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Brockenspectre by Linda Newbery at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Brockenspectre by Linda Newbery at Amazon.com.


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