Okay, I’ll put my hands up! Lorraine is a fellow writer who has come through the same academy that I’m currently working with (Golden Egg) so I might be a little bit eager to say nice things about this book BUT, Lorraine has made that easy with a heart-warming tale of triumph and courage after a rotten start in life.

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Mold is a ‘sniffler’ but he doesn’t know it yet. All he knows is that he has a big nose and that he’s different. No one else looks like him. This is how the story begins: –

“When I was a wee babe no bigger an a marrow, Mam put me in the dustbin an left me out fer the binmen. But the binmen didn’t want me neither.”

Now, how can you not root for him right from the start after those opening words!

This fabulous, unique voice flows through the whole story as Mold faces danger to save Aggy, his stepmother who has brought him up and is partial to gin. It’s a fantasy setting so it’s bow and arrow time with swords aplenty as Mold makes his way to the castle where Aggy rots slowly in the dungeon where she’s been put on suspicion of trying to poison the King. Will Mold uncover the true culprit in time to save her? And what of the Boggers? What part do these semi-mythical creatures have to play in events? And what is a ‘sniffler’ anyway?

With battles, unlikely (and very smelly!) friends, sewer travel and intrigue, Mold embarks of a journey of discovery. And, in saving those he loves, he might just end up finding out a bit more about himself along the way.

This is a fabulous ‘feel good’ story ideal for boys and girls from 7-12 years old. Highly recommended.

Rating out of 5: ♦♦♦♦♦

Suggested age: Boys & Girls 7-12 years

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