Friday, December 12, 2008

Tarantula Tide - Book Review

Tarantula Tide
Author: Sharon Tregenza
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Floris Books (October 16, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0863156738
ISBN-13: 978-0863156731

Tarantula Tide is a fast paced, page-turning suspense novel for the middle grade reader. Jack grudgingly accompanies his mother to one of the Shetland Islands for a holiday which is known for their Land of the Viking Fire Festival. During the long ferry ride to Shetland, Jack gets sick and vomits all over a pair of red boots that are on the feet of a biker named Slasher. Jack spends the rest of the trip avoiding Slasher but mysterious circumstances involving, suspense and humor will bring them together again.

Jack’s summer holiday becomes more interesting when he meets his next door neighbor, Izzie, who has a penchant for exotic pets. A couple of favorites of mine are Karma the chameleon and Minx the Siamese cat. Shetland is full of adventure with its private coves, historical brochs and Viking history. Izzie knows her way around and her connection with the police department comes in handy. Things are not what they appear to be. The curious duo discovers the wandering tramp is not a tramp and the local vet does more than care for Shetland ponies. At the center of all the mysteriousness is an eight legged visitor named Octavia.

Also throughout the adventure, Tregenza describes a variety of other wildlife native to the area such as skuas seabirds, seals and puffins. Tarantula Tide is an exciting and easy read for everyone. Kids will love this book because of the unpredictable plot. There are a few unexpected twists and turns when Izzie and Jack explore the historical broch. You may guess the ending will turn out OK but there is no way you can guess how.

Award winning author Sharon Tregenza has written over 400 articles of poetry and short stories for children published worldwide. Tarantula Tide is her debut children’s novel and won the Kelpies Prize which rewards new Scottish writing for children’s literature.

Write it down,