Sunday 9 April 2023

THE BOY WHO SAVED A BEAR

 by NIZRANA FAROOK;  

  

Central characters Karadi the bear, and the boy Nuwan sit within the jungle edge canopy. Karadi stand all feet on a tree stump while Nuwan layys hand up to wards Karadi's face. The title sits within a pale yellow setting sun and in a nice metalic green and pale red large font. The sky is a mix of orange red yellow and light blue. Nuwan is in blue knee length shorts and a white top. The foliage depicted around the authors named is in metalic green.
Image copyright ©

 
                                                                                  

An Adventure Book Review by Erin the Literary Cat©, International Book Reviewer.

Hello, and welcome to my weekend Book Review featuring Adventures in Middle-Grade Fiction. This week we have a cracking good read for you. 

So without further ado lets read about . . . .


 
Central characters Karadi the bear, and the boy Nuwan sit within the jungle edge canopy. Karadi stand all feet on a tree stump while Nuwan layys hand up to wards Karadi's face. The title sits within a pale yellow setting sun and in a nice metalic green and pale red large font. The sky is a mix of orange red yellow and light blue. Nuwan is in blue knee length shorts and a white top. The foliage depicted around the authors named is in metalic green.

 
 
 

AUTHOR: NIZRANA FAROOK

 

Cover art by: DAVID DEAN

 

Published by: NOSY CROW


Publication date: Paperback - 6 APRIL 2023

 

Paperback ISBN: 978-183 994 3928


Cover price for Paperback: £6.49

 

Pages: 194

 

Age range: 9 to 12 and upwards


Any dogs or cats? No, but one very delightful bear!


 

SPOILER ALERT


Some as to plot direction and characters. 

 

 

Thank you to... 

 

We are exceedingly grateful to Hannah Prutton and the team at Nosy Crow Publishers for the delight of getting to Read & Review this grand, children's adventure before publication. 


As ever, our views are our own, and we only share reviews of books we have bought, been given as gifts, or, as in this case, received in exchange for an impartial review. 


First and foremost, the books we review are those we like and feel our global readers deserve to know about and that we hope they, their children, friends, and students will enjoy.

 


The plot


Nuwan is aged twelve. He lives with his parents, elder brother Krish, and younger sister, Priya, in a village in the north of Serendip, now called Sri Lanka, many, many decades ago.


The story opens with Nuwan, and his best pals, Sani and Chathura, admiring the elephants lined up outside the great Library of the North. It seems the key to a long-lost treasure, housed in a statue at the royal palace, has been discovered in the library. It is a cause for a grand celebration. The key will be presented to the Queen after a five-day procession from the library. All the time, the key to be held aloft on the elephant's back, on display to the villagers en route.


The three want to get close enough to see the great key but can't. If only Krish were there, as he delivers books from the library to a temple beside the royal palace. He could go in and view the key and tell them all about it.


But Krish is sick at home. Unable to pick up his delivery, the three friends think all is lost. Until that is, Nuwan decides HE will take Krish's place and deliver the books to the temple. That way, he could legitimately enter the library and look at the key on display before it leaves for the palace. It will also mean that Nuwan can prove he can be as trustworthy as his sixteen-year-old brother and help the family rather than be expected to fail at everything he does.


It is a choice that will prove life-threateningly dangerous and also life-affirming. 


When Nuwan convinces the librarian, Mrs Weerasinghe, he can undertake the urgent task instead of his brother. Too busy to argue, he is allowed to collect and deliver the books. And in so doing, he gets to see the key. So now all that's left is to get the books to the temple. Just before he heads home to tell his parents, he notices another book tucked away. Almost lost between two wooden panels. Adding the volume of poetry to his pile, he heads home.


But when he expected to find praise for his initiative, he was told flatly he wasn't allowed on the journey. It was, they said, far too dangerous for a twelve-year-old. Despite his protestations that Krish had done it at twelve, he was too unreliable. Later, when nobody is looking, he takes the books and begins his journey to the temple near the Kings City.


Unbeknown to Nuwan, thieves have stolen the real key and hidden it in a hollowed-out section in that same book of poetry. They replaced it with a replica key now heading to the Queen. 


In a momentary rest from his trek, inquisitive Nuwan found the key in the poetry book. He quickly realised what it was and that he needed to get it to the Queen or be branded the thief himself. For safety, he has hung the key around his neck. 


The head librarian and her husband are quickly revealed to be the thieves when they track down Nuwan as he makes his journey and menacingly demand the key back. In the ensuing set-to with Mrs Weerasinghe, the head librarian, and her husband, Nuhan fleas into a cave. The cave is a place of sanctuary not just for him but also for a bear. And not just any bear; this cave belongs to Karadi, a bear with one white paw and a ferocious reputation. 


Now, I could leave this review here; after all, it is a climactic moment. But what follows is worth telling just to get the story really flying. With a twist in circumstance, good or bad will be for you to find out, the key ends up in Karadi's possession, around her neck! 


The story gathers pace and tension from here on in. Nuwan has some lessons to learn along the way, and life and limb are literally put at risk. Whose I shall not say.

 

Suffice it to add, yet again, Mrs H gasped out loud and had a tear in her eye at various points. I really do think she gets too involved in our reviews πŸ™‚. But it is a good sign that this book hits all the right spots.



So, what did we think?


We loved the preceding adventures, all set in and around Serendip/Sri Lanka. The first was The Girl Who Stole an Elephant, and the second was The Boy Who Met a Whale. The third is The Girl Who Lost a Leopard.

 

The action is quick, and the plots, written with vest and aplomb, weave themselves through the land, jungle and oceans to a grand finale. This new adventure (like the others) touches the heart deep down, naturally and gently. 


A brilliant, neat, tidy story, strong engagement: The ability to draw one in to the place, characters, and action that matters. 


Mrs H says she would have loved to have these growing up, though they are by no means dated. She thinks the extra magic in such stories comes from the sense of the wild, the creatures and the unexpected that flows through and punctuates all Nizrana's stories. It is hard not to think of Kipling when reading this, though without the talking creatures. 


It would be remiss not to say how much we love David Dean's artwork within and for all the covers; it is perfect. I get a real sense of place and time in the image styles and colours. A perfect foil for the stories. 

 

Oh, if you are wondering about the title, well, lets just say for every action there is a consequence and a lesson to be learned.

 


So . . . . 

Crunch time. 

 

Without a doubt, this competent series is one to read, share and enjoy. 

 


Want to buy a copy?


Please set out on a journey to your local independent bookshop to get a copy. There are plenty out there (both bookshops and possibly bears, though hopefully not in the same place). Each shop is just waiting to serve up whatever kind of mystery, fun and adventure you desire. Of course, a bear in tow is not obligatory and will likely raise a few eyebrows. On the plus side, it will probably shorten the queues at the checkout, too!


A little about the author:

Nizran was born and lived in Columbo, the capital of Ceylon, now called Sri Lanka. Having graduated from Bath Spa University with an MA in writing for young people, she currently lives in Hertfordshire, England with her family.

There is a lovely article /interview with Nizrana on the blog MY BOOK CORNER. A link to that site and page can be found HERE.    

Or type https://www.mybookcorner.co.uk/my-journey-to-publication-guest-post-by-nizrana-farook/



Nizrana Farook's web page can be found HERE or type this: https://nizranafarook.com/


NOSY CROW's web page can be found HERE or type this: https://nosycrow.com/


David Dean's
web page can be found HERE or type this: https://www.daviddean.co.uk/

And now, the Sunday Selfie.

We are Joining Janet Blue from the Cat on My Head blog for the weekly parade of selfies from all manner of companion creatures from across the pond and globe.

To go to Janet's blog selfie page, please click this LINK. or type / cut and paste https://thecatonmyhead.com/unlikely-easter-two-fur/

I shall leave you with my selfie! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ That bunny seems happy enough, me, well, I think I was considering the lunch menu .......

 


 

 

 


Till laters!



ERin

34 comments:

  1. Happy Easter purrty Princess ~ and to your wonderful Cat Daddy!

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  2. ERin I hope many who have little ones in their lives read this review what a fun adventure filled book
    Hugs Cecilia

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    Replies
    1. We can but hope. So many great books out there, kids are spoilt for all sorts of adventures.
      ERin

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  3. We love your beautiful selfie, Erin, but hope you did not have that bunny for a snack!

    That book sounds great -- full of drama and suspense, and a real page-turner. We also like the cover illustration a lot.

    Wishing you and Mrs. H the happiest of Easters. XO

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    Replies
    1. Like so many of these books, the plot really races along once we get used to the characters and setting. The art is how well they are set up.
      ERin

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  4. Beautiful selfie. I think my grandson would like this book.

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    Replies
    1. I have to admit to Mrs H chosing that picture on account of me not posing at any other time in the week in a half decent manner ;) Great stories capture the imagination and sell themselves πŸ™‚
      ERin

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  5. we bee on free wi fi two day !!!

    sew stoppin bye with paste N coppee

    with easturr greetinz and NOE BURD

    happee fun day hippee hoppee :) ♥♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have a very happy holiday, though it is always over far too quickly. πŸ™‚
      ERin

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  6. That sounds like a good one and that cover is a fun one. Happy Easter from all of us at Brian’s Home!

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    Replies
    1. Have a very happy holiday! The cover is just right, a perfect foil for the story, and a bit of a give away as to the plot....
      ERin

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  7. Your selfies are always wonderful Erin, and thank you for a thrilling sounding book!

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  8. Replies
    1. Thank you, we made an effort for the holidays, inbetween naps and books...
      ERin

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  9. What a beautiful selfie, ERin. The book sounds furry interesting too.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I do hope the book prize we sent you has arrived? The author has a new one out in a week or so, so wattch out for another giveaway!
      ERin

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  10. Love your selfie, Erin!
    And that story reminds me of the TinTin series somehow. Those were good reads as well.

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    Replies
    1. Now that is an interesting comparison. I think I can see why. All the books so far have the same vibe and magic, though each has a different tale to tell.
      ERin

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  11. We love your Easter selfie, ERin (and your wonderful book review!).

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    Replies
    1. Thank you on both counts. We are spoilt for choice in kids book to review, less so in edible cat food!
      ERin

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  12. Replies
    1. It is a good read. Foreign (to us) lands and exotic species from times long ago make for interesting well structured reads.
      ERin

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  13. Hi. We never got any card about an attempt to deliver the book. Does it have a tracking number so we can contact the Post Office?

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    Replies
    1. Hi. Yes, my tracking number is: LP143539546GB. We used the address you sent us. if you drop me a comment with your email, we can converse that way if you wish. It was classed as a small parcel by the Post Office.
      Mrs H

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  14. What a purrfect Selfie, Erin, I think the little Bunny is happy to be with you in the picture😺Double belated Easter Pawkisses for all of youπŸΎπŸ˜½πŸ’ž

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    Replies
    1. Belated reply and thanks back.
      Pawkisses and purrs
      ERin

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  15. That is a beautiful selfie. A very belated happy Easter to you and Mrs. H. We went away for a few days last week and I am all behind,
    That sounds like a great book. You really do choose good ones to review. It must be my age but I find middle grade books more enjoyable than adult literature nowadays.

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    Replies
    1. Slip a couple of these in a handbag or travel case and you'd not go far wrong.
      ERin

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  16. Looking utterly furbulous Erin, and another great review, Amber is buying that book as we type! MOL

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  17. That looks like a great story for young people. My grandson is only three and a half but maybe I'll get it for him when he is older.

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    Replies
    1. I definitely think this is one you could read to a younger age group. In fact the quartet of stories would be a worth set on the shelf for bedtime reading.
      ERin

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