Angel Creek by Sally Rippin

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Angel Creek by Sally Rippin

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Anne Thompson
Reviewed by Anne Thompson
Summary: One Christmas Eve Jelly discovers an angel and then things start to happen to her family that she had not anticipated. This is an enchanting story of family, friendship, love and growing up. Recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 160 Date: February 2013
Publisher: Egmont Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781405262088

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It is Christmas Eve and Jelly's family are gathered together to celebrate. It should have been a perfect night but for Jelly it is not because her family have recently moved to the other side of the city, far from all her friends, just as she is about to start at senior school. She is feeling so alone and miserable that nothing will brighten her mood and to avoid the festivities Jelly and her two cousins slip away in the darkness to the nearby creek.

In the murky gloom of a tunnel through which the creek flows the three children spot something white glowing in the water and go to investigate. Spotting feathers they think at first that it is an injured bird but on closer examination they are shocked to discover that it is in fact a baby angel with a broken wing! They decide that they should look after the angel and resolve to hide it away from their families and care for it themselves. Unfortunately Jelly, as the oldest, feels this responsibility the most and as things start to go wrong for her family she quickly learns that maybe the decision she has taken was not wise. As her family try to deal with the series of events that unfold Jelly feels scared and overwhelmed by what has happened but gradually she discovers how things can be put right. During this holiday Jelly grows up a little, learning how to be brave and also how friendships can made in unlikely circumstances.

Although in many ways a story of magic and fantasy the beautiful way in which this story is rooted in a tale of family life lifts this relatively short book into a very satisfying read. I found it fascinating to read a children's book set in Australia and perhaps young readers will be interested in this aspect too. The relationships in Jelly's extended family including her cousins Gino and Pik, her bad tempered uncle and much loved grandma, Nonna, are well described. Family life is portrayed in a natural way as is Jelly's nervousness about the looming first day at her new school ensuring that the story has a realistic feel despite the magical element. The angel from Merri Crick is very different from the usual angels of children's fiction being difficult, animal-like and at times a little scary. The gradual maturing of Jelly's character as the story progresses is believable and I think that this is a story that both girls and boys moving on to senior school or moving house would relate to and find comforting.

I loved Sally Rippin's writing style especially the atmospheric descriptions which vividly conjure up a picture of the neighbourhood, in particular the area by the creek, in which Jelly lives. There are many themes tackled in this enjoyable book including bullying, accepting responsibility and family misunderstandings all of which make this a thought provoking read. It would be a very useful book for school libraries for children preparing for the transition to senior school. However this is an accessible read for slightly younger readers too and would work well read aloud. A recommended read and I am looking forward to reading more books by this author.

I should like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of this book to the Bookbag.

Another highly recommended story on a similar theme for slightly more mature readers is the award winning Skellig by David Almond.

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Buy Angel Creek by Sally Rippin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Angel Creek by Sally Rippin at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Angel Creek by Sally Rippin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Angel Creek by Sally Rippin at


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