The Midnight Hour

Benjamin Read and Laura Trinder. Chicken House, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-338-56909-4
When her mother disappears, followed by her father, quick-tempered Emily Featherhaugh seeks to find them in Read and Trinder’s fun fantasy set in an adjacent London. She sets out for the Night Post and her dad’s place of employment, armed with her mom’s helpful sayings (“Never be knowingly under-snacked”); a necklace that her mother has always worn; oddments marked “Just in Case” from her father’s desk; and her hedgehog, Hog. Though pursued through dark streets by an anthropomorphic bear, she arrives safely, using her father’s magical key to enter the Night Post, arriving into a magical 1859 London called the Midnight Hour, inhabited by creatures driven from the world by human progress, where “it is always pitch dark, always full moon, and always, always midnight.” Read and Trinder imagine a wonderfully spooky alternate world populated with creatures from legend and nightmare: as she works to rescue her parents, Emily is menaced by a vampire, rescued by a rare Pooka, and assisted by The Library (aka Language), a constantly quoting Older Power whose sisters are Art and Music. The authors create a determined heroine whose weaknesses are crucial to her quest’s success, and a satisfying balance of fright and fancy. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/30/2020
Release date: 03/03/2020
Genre: Children's
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