Hello People, so we have the first book review of 2020 and this one is a children’s book named Leatherback and the Strange Place. I received this book from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest review.
The book loosely falls in the mystery, adventure segment. I call it loosely because it does not have the usual chase or fast-paced narrative but is paced just like the protagonists of the book.
The book’s protagonists are a bunch of animals that are pets. Yup! No young sleuth or a peculiar old man here! The lead is a leatherback tortoise and his team consists of a parrot, a cat and a guinea pig. These pets are out on an adventure when they realize that Sara- their guardian’s mom has been kidnapped.
One day Sara’s mother Lolita vanishes into thin air! The animals decide to solve the mystery that has left the Seed household frozen. Leatherback and her team decide to investigate the suspect’s houses to look for Lolita.
The secret and the stories that they discover in the houses leave them shocked and startled. But where was Lolita? Who had taken her and why? This is the premise of Leatherback and the strange place
My views about Leatherback and the Strange Place
This is a book with a difference as the book has managed to introduce mental illnesses and empathy towards those suffering from it without sounding preachy. The book touches upon various aspects of growing up and the objective viewpoint of the tortoise, who is the narrator, adds credence to the topic.
- With mental health and disability not being discussed openly even today, it is impossible for kids to understand the gravity of it and learn about diversity, inclusion, collaboration, and friendships in its true sense. This book helps open that dialogue.
- It manages to seamlessly merge the imaginative with the factual world easing the kids into a grey realistic world with some fascinating imagination and positivity.
- The ancillary characters are well-etched and their back-stories well-developed. Each character has something to add which takes the narrative forward. The characters are driven by their life experiences and this is one of the great learnings that kids can take from the book.
- The book is peppered with a lot of facts and trivia related to animals and physiatrist terms to help children understand the plot better.
- The book also has a few fun activity pages strewn along the book to make it more engaging for the children.
- Overall leatherback and the strange place is a good book and definitely something that children above 10 years will understand and enjoy. Some incidents would also be relatable to children or they might know someone who is a victim of situations mentioned in the book.
What I didn’t like about the book was that a few things that were imaginative were a bit too far-fetched and it could have been ignored. There were also parts where it seems a bit more clues and a bit more inclusion of the children in the book could have made the reveal most interesting. It also helps kids get more involved in the story.
Overall a good book and would recommend for kids 10 and above. It will definitely help grow empathy among children.