Kids’ Book of the Week: The Shop at Hooper’s Bend by Emily Rodda

Kids’ Book of the Week: The Shop at Hooper’s Bend by Emily Rodda

9781460753668Emily Rodda needs no introduction. She is one of Australia’s most loved children’s authors, enthralling children all across the country and internationally with her Deltora Quest and Rowan of Rin series. She’s woven stories of intriguing high fantasy for young people, and she’s back with a new book – and this one is a little different.

We’re used to magic and sorcery, strange monsters and odd beings, while The Shop at Hooper’s Bend is what we would call magic realism – there’s magic and fantasy and spells, but it’s set in modern-day Sydney and the Blue Mountains. It’s gentle and poignant – and utterly enthralling.

The book follows eleven year old Jonquil (known as Quil) Medway, and she’s got more than just an unusual name. Her parents died in a car crash when she was young, and she goes to a boarding school. In the summer holidays, she stays with her aunt or goes to a summer camp. At the beginning of the book, that’s where she’s off to, but in an impulsive decision she jumps off the train at an earlier shop – called Hooper’s Bend.

Photo Jenny RoweAt Hooper’s Bend, Quil meets a host of strange characters. There’s a chubby little white and black spotted dog called Pirate who immediately adopts Quil (rather than, say, Quil adopting Pirate). There’s also an older woman, Bailey, who’s a little grumpy, and owns a vacant shop left to her by her uncle. This shop, though empty, has something a little bit magical about it, and as Quil, Pirate, and Bailey fall under its spell, they’re drawn together in a binding friendship – but also struck by a brilliant idea to bring the shop back to life.

Inspired by the Blue Mountains and her great uncle’s own similar corner shop, Emily Rodda has woven a very Australian tale. It’s reminiscent of the quiet spaces in the country, and of small towns that are slowly disappearing. There’s a strange sort of magic in smaller towns and the Australian bush, and Emily Rodda has captured it brilliantly. The characters are believable and relatable, and you’ll feel for Quil as she struggles with the loss of her parents, but the friendship she makes with Bailey becomes just as fulfilling. The book captures mystery and charm effortlessly.

The Shop at Hooper’s Bend is a song to Australia and to small towns; it’s about magic, mystery, and friendship, and we recommend it for anyone ages 9+. Fans of Rodda’s high fantasy won’t be at all disappointed by Rodda’s magic realism departure.

Start reading here, and grab a copy here.

Related Articles

Creating a magical island: Author Emily Rodda shares the inspiration for her new series, Monty's Island

News | Author Related

15 April 2020

Creating a magical island: Author Emily Rodda shares the inspiration for her new series, Monty's Island

Why I Write Funny Kid Books by Matt Stanton

News | Author Related

4 January 2020

Why I Write Funny Kid Books by Matt Stanton

Take a Look Inside The Long Distance Playlist by Tara Eglington

Kids & Ya

17 December 2019

Take a Look Inside The Long Distance Playlist by Tara Eglington

A Celebration of Friendship: Q&A with Tara Eglington Author of The Long Distance Playlist

News | Author Related

17 December 2019

A Celebration of Friendship: Q&A with Tara Eglington Author of The Long Distance Playlist

Magic Awaits: Read an extract from Jinxed! The Curious Curse of Cora Bell

Kids & Ya

23 August 2019

Magic Awaits: Read an extract from Jinxed! The Curious Curse of Cora Bell

A Kid at Heart: Q&A with Rebecca McRitchie

Kids & Ya

20 August 2019

A Kid at Heart: Q&A with Rebecca McRitchie

Collector of Magic: Review of Jinxed! The Curious Curse of Cora Bell

Kids & Ya

20 August 2019

Collector of Magic: Review of Jinxed! The Curious Curse of Cora Bell

The Choices We Make: Review of The Monster Who Wasn't

Kids & Ya

13 August 2019

The Choices We Make: Review of The Monster Who Wasn't

Explosive, Inexplicable Weirdness: Review of Squidge Dibley Destroys the School by Mick Elliott

Kids & Ya

25 June 2019

Explosive, Inexplicable Weirdness: Review of Squidge Dibley Destroys the School by Mick Elliott

Wizards, Witches and Rebels: Read an extract from The Wizards of Once: Twice Magic

Kids & Ya

12 June 2019

Wizards, Witches and Rebels: Read an extract from The Wizards of Once: Twice Magic

Synopsis

Eleven-year-old Jonquil (known as Quil) Medway is a girl with more than an unusual name. Quil's parents died in a car accident when she was a baby and she now goes to boarding school, but spends her holidays with an aunt - or at camp, which is where Quil is heading when she decides to get off early at a train stop called Hoopers Bend.It is there that Quil meets Pirate, a chunky little white dog with black spots who immediately adopts her and Bailey, a crabby older lady who has gone to Hoopers Bend to check out the shop that has been left to her by an uncle.There is something magical about the shop at Hoopers Bend though, and once it casts its spell on Quil and Bailey they are drawn together in an unlikely friendship and their fight to save the shop from developers.From one of Australia's most renowned children's authors, this is a story about coming home when you didn't even know that was where you belonged.
Emily Rodda
About the author

Emily Rodda

Books by Emily Rodda

COMMENTS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *