Pebble (Strong Winds series) by Julia Jones

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Pebble (Strong Winds series) by Julia Jones

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: An adventure story for tweens and teens which is bang on the money with regard to current events. A rollicking read and highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 296 Date: November 2018
Publisher: Golden Duck
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1899262397

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Liam isn't quite the youngest in a large family: he doesn't have the distinction of being the baby anymore and he doesn't have the heft of his older brothers and sisters. He's rather like one of the pebbles on a large shingle beach: part of the mass but easily overlooked as an individual. So when he starts having problems with his sight no one really takes any notice. He doesn't want to bother his mother as she's heavily involved in the Luminal Festival and when he asked his elder step-sister, Anna, if she'll take him for an eye test, she puts him off. In fairness she's got important exams and Liam's convinced that it's just a case of getting spectacles, but Liam's eyes are changing in a rather strange way.

Anna's got a boyfriend, the troubled son a a Russian billionaire. Zander might appear to live a life of entitlement, but when his trusted bodyguard disappears he's replaced by someone you definitely don't trust and it soon becomes obvious that there's not much freedom or enjoyment in Zander's life. His father has to return to Russia and this creates certain tensions in the family: it wouldn't be voiced aloud, but you suspect that the Russian government is not really to be trusted by those who have opted to live abroad.

Books in the Strong Winds series are always a treat. I know that I'm many multiples of the target age group, but good writing is good writing whatever your age, or whoever it's written for - and Julia Jones always delivers. Her story is bang on the money as recent national events demonstrate. No - I'm not going to explain: you'll understand exactly what I mean when you read the book and I'm not going to spoil the enjoyment. You'll look at the news and have a little more insight into what has been going on, and understand that operatives - even those who purportedly operate on behalf of the state - are not representative of a country.

That's the big picture and Julia Jones does it well. She's excellent too on the smaller picture, the dynamics of family life and particularly blended families. There are the upsides of being part of a large unit - and the downsides of occasionally feeling invisible, when no one notices that you seem to be giving up the activities which you used to enjoy.

Illustrations are by Claudia Myatt as they have been throughout this series. As ever they are a delight, gently adding to the pleasure of the text.

Regular readers of the series will be delighted to meet some old friends. It was a real pleasure to see Donny, whom we first met in The Salt-Stained Book turn from a child into a man and a rather admirable one too, particularly when he learns more about his background. You could read Pebble as a standalone, but you'll get a lot more from the book and the series if you read the series in chronological order.

Julia Jones' Strong Winds Series in chronological order

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Buy Pebble (Strong Winds series) by Julia Jones at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Pebble (Strong Winds series) by Julia Jones at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Pebble (Strong Winds series) by Julia Jones at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Pebble (Strong Winds series) by Julia Jones at


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