|This cover is for the new edition, but I've reviewed the previous edition (I think). The cover for my edition is majorly scary and I refuse to have it on my blog. You can see it here.|
October 2014, Oxford University Press, 256 pages, Paperback, Review copy
Content: major peril, tissues needed
Summary from Oxford University Press (I've got an older edition to the one I've used the summary of)
Kale and Strife are two young water voles with a nose for trouble and an eye for adventure. But when their uncle Sylvan comes to stay, bringing news of a terrible danger, the voles are sucked into a quest that will test their courage to the limit.
Having read book 1 in this water vole series I couldn't not read book 2. I have to say that it's a series which is a bit darker than I expected – I knew there would be some danger, but when the characters where in moderate to major peril I was really scared for them and had no clue whether they would survive or not. There were plenty of tense moments leading up to an eventful reunion which made me smile and shed a tear.
I think stories like these are a brilliant way to explain nature to readers, to get them interest in animal conservation, and think about scientific areas like habitats, food chains, etc. It's certainly more fun than a science book, and hopefully will lead some readers to go and research water voles and related topics for themselves. The sense of kinship the siblings have even when they do have to be apart a little rang out loud and clear. I didn't give it full marks just because it was a bit darker than I'd have liked.