This travel novel tells the adventure of Amanda Ross in England when she visited her friend Leah. As Leah and her parents bring Amanda around the country to see and experience all the famous tourist sites, the kids find their selves in the middle of a series of mysterious occurrences involving a missing novel.
I found this book on Book Club Reading List. This travel book is full of adventures and mystery that will be easy for any young mind to assess and evaluate. What I love about this book is the specific descriptions of the famous landmarks in England and how these are worked out in the story to help Amanda and Leah solve the mystery of the missing vintage novel.
Amanda in England is the third book in the Amanda series where the main character travels in different countries to solve various mysteries, have fun, and sometimes get in trouble. This series is directed to readers with a younger age and is written in a way that they will easily understand and relate with.
I truly appreciated that there are different lessons to learn from the travel book. One is that it teaches kids about travelling and the different countries that will be fun and exciting to visit. Another is about instantly judging people by their outer appearances. There are lots of other lessons that I’m sure the children will pick up from this book and the other travelling books in the series.
Here is an excerpt where Amanda and her friends describe the miniature Windsor Castle, which is also known as Queen Mary’s Doll House, when they went to visit and took a tour of the actual castle. I liked this part because it contains specific descriptions including the little things that only an observant and curious young mind will be able to notice.
Before her stood a replica of Windsor Castle, in miniature, completely furnished. The entrance with the marble staircase, the dining room with the long table set for dinner with tiny dishes, the paintings hanging on the walls and the sparkling chandeliers were all there. A library with mini books on the shelves, the nursery with toys scattered about and even a puppet theatre, caught her attention.
“Look here,” Liam shouted. “There is even a garage with six fancy cars, a bicycle and a motorcycle too. They’re all in perfect scale, too. Blimey, I bet they even run.”
“There is so much to look at,” said Leah. “Look at the little paint box and book of nursery songs, the teeny mirror and hair brush set. It’s so adorable.”
“This would have been so much fun to play with. Do you think the princesses were allowed to play with it?” asked Amanda.
Rylee looked at the miniature garden with three inch trees and small shrubs. “Here’s a baby pram and look, birds in the trees and – even a cat.” “Oh, I do hope Rupert is alright in the car,” said Leah. Mesmerized by the scene before her, Amanda felt like she had entered the land of Lilliputians from Gulliver’s Travels. She wanted to disappear into the miniature building or become a princess who could spend hours playing with it.
Here’s another part of the book where Amanda described her experience riding the London Eye. Of all the things I have read about the London Eye, this is what really made me move it at the top of my “Sites to Visit” list.
When they got closer to the enormous Ferris wheel, Amanda noticed space age-like capsules moving around the wheel. She counted thirty two of them. When it was their turn to enter a capsule, Amanda thought the wheel would stop. But it didn’t, and she had to take an extra big step to get on. The spacious, glass enclosed pod held about two dozen people and everyone got a good view. Some people sat in the middle on a wooden bench.
Amanda asked a woman with a small child if she wanted to stand nearer the window. The woman said, “Thank you very much, but I have vertigo. I was told if I stay in the middle, it wouldn’t affect me. I can see quite well from here.”
As the wheel continued to turn slowly and smoothly, the capsule moved higher up and Amanda beheld a spectacular view of London. “There’s London Bridge,” pointed Leah. “Oh, and I see Tower Bridge,” said Amanda. “Can you see St. Paul’s Cathedral over there?” mentioned Mrs. Anderson. “You can stride around to get different views of London if you like.”
The little child left his mother’s side and squealed, “There’s Big Ben, Mummy!”
The higher they got, the farther they could see. Amanda moved from one side of the glass bubble to the other so she could see as much as possible. She felt as if she was on the top of the world. The boats on the river looked like toy boats. Cars and buses on the bridges looked like Matchbox toys.
The morning clouds had drifted away making it a clear day. When they got to the very top, Mrs. Anderson put her arm around Amanda and pointed in the distance, “If you look over there, you will see Windsor Castle.”
Amanda was amazed. She couldn’t believe she could see that far. “How high up are we?”
“I believe the London Eye is 442 feet tall.”
Even though I have fear of heights, I still wanted to try riding the London Eye. After reading what Amanda has to say about it, I felt more challenged to get on this ride. When I get a chance to visit London, this is the first thing that I will do.
This travel novel is indeed worth reading because it offers extraordinary descriptions of the famous landmarks in England coming from a young traveller’s point of view. I give this travel book a rating of four beach umbrellas for the innocent way the country was described and all the values that the author has imparted to her readers through Amanda. She really did a great job of bringing out the young traveler in me and, I’m sure, to all her readers as well.
About the Author
Darlene has always had a desire to write and has won awards for her short stories, one of which is included in the anthology, Country Roads: Memoirs from Rural Canada. She is the author of the exciting adventure series for middle readers featuring 12 year-old Amanda Ross who loves to travel to interesting places; Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask, Amanda in Spain – The Girl in The Painting and Amanda in England – The Missing Novel. She is currently working on the fourth book, Amanda in Alberta – The Writing in the Stone. Readers from seven to seventy enjoy travelling with Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another.