Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Hounds of Penhallow Hall: The Moonlight Statue by Holly Webb (Children's, 7 years +, 8/10E)

Adore the girl, not so much the dog (see below for reasons)
February 2017, Stripes Publishing, 192 pages, Paperback, Review copy 

Content: mysterious things, empty large house 
Summary from Little Tiger Press
For Polly, moving to Penhallow Hall is the fresh start she’s been longing for since the death of her father. Her mum has got a job managing the stately home and once the last of the visitors leave for the day the place is all theirs! One night, Polly sleepwalks into the garden and wakes to find her hand on the head of one of the stone dogs that guard the steps down to the lawn. Then she feels him lick her cheek! The dog introduces himself as Rex, an Irish Wolfhound who lived at Penhallow many hundreds of years earlier. And he is not the only resident ghost – Polly has also glimpsed a strange boy around the place. With Rex’s help she finds herself unravelling the story of his beloved master, William Penhallow, who was killed in the First World War aged only 17.

Nayu's thoughts 
I seriously hate giving a book from one of my favourite authors a less than perfect grade. But for me it wasn't perfect. I adore Holly's stories, it's just unfortunate I found this one a bit creepy. It doesn't help that I'm afraid of the dark and big dark coloured dogs frighten me, so a lot of what Polly does at night & during the day wasn't something I could lose myself in. Oh and the war theme (something I try to avoid reading about as it's upsetting)

However, there is still Holly's magic in how she phrases things, in the love Polly's mum gives her, the way that Polly has an incredible adventure when she needs company the most. I liked how the story of the boy was woven in, introducing the reader to historical situations, making them more interesting by being in a story. From the title I think this may be a series, but I'll need breaks before reading the next title. 

Find out more on Holly's website

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