The Giant's Necklace by Michael Morpurgo and Briony May Smith
|The Giant's Necklace by Michael Morpurgo and Briony May Smith|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Tense, thrilling and if you haven't read that this is a ghost story then you'll find the ending quite stunning. A brilliant book.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 80||Date: July 2017|
|Publisher: Walker Books|
|External links: Author's website|
On holiday in Cornwall Cherry found a length of fishing line and decided that she was going to make a giant's necklace with cowrie shells. She's patient and painstaking - it takes her weeks to gather the shells, clean, polish and string them together. On the final day of the holiday she knows how many more she needs and she's determined that she's not going to be beaten. The family head off for a day on their beach and Cherry begs to stay on for a little longer so that she can get the shells she needs. Only she's not quite careful enough and allows herself to be cut off by the tide when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
All is not lost though: putting the shells she's collected onto a ledge so that she can collect them the next day she begins to climb the cliff and finds a cave. Amazingly she finds that the cave winds into an old tin mine, with the tunnels lit by candles - and just when she thinks that there's no way out she discovers a man and his son who give her something to drink and help her to warm up. The son shows her the way out of the mine and it's only then that Cherry realises that the father and son are ghosts, killed in a mining accident. What will her family say when she gets home? Will they believe what she has to tell them?
You'll have read the book to find out what happens when Cherry gets back to the cottage, her parents and her four elder brothers. It blew me away and I had to go back and read the book through again. That's no hardship though - the writing is wonderfully clear and very accessible. The tension as Cherry gets trapped by the tide is palpable and when she gets washed off the rocks by a high wave I stopped breathing and only heaved a sigh of relief when she manages to climb up the cliff face. Briony May Smith's illustrations not only support the story - they add to it, particularly at the points when Cherry is frightened.
The book is probably best suited to children of seven years and upwards. The ending is shocking and it might take a few minutes for the implications to sink in. There's an important lesson to be learned about safety on tidal beaches, but it's delivered with a very light touch and children are not going to think that they're being preached at. Highly recommended - even if you never visit a tidal beach.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
We've lots more books by Michael Morpurgo for your enjoyment.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Giant's Necklace by Michael Morpurgo and Briony May Smith at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Giant's Necklace by Michael Morpurgo and Briony May Smith at Amazon.com.
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