As a kid, I never spent the Easter holidays racing around the countryside on my bike with my cousins solving crimes, but somehow this book managed to make me feel nostalgic for exactly that!
Book: Clifftoppers – The Arrowhead Moor Adventure by Fleur Hitchcock
Read before: No
Ownership: Review copy sent free of charge by publisher. All opinions my own.
This book really feels like a natural successor to the Famous Five – it’s got the same high spirits and sense of adventure, but it’s bang up-to-date. When Aiden, Chloe, Ava and Josh (who are much more realistic than the perfect Five!) become embroiled in the shady goings-on on Arrowhead Moor, their first instinct is to call the police, which instantly made me like them. Of course, for various reasons that isn’t a viable option, but I loved that they considered it, because as kids brought up with mobile phones, they have a lot more capacity to try to find adult help than Blyton’s characters did. The children are all very individual, and the girls are at least as active, clever and brave as the boys, if not more so. I particularly liked Josh, the youngest, who added a whole lot of spirit to the gang!
The freedom that the children had to spend the whole days out and about was really enjoyable to read – it made me wish that I was out in the sunshine, though I’m not much of an outdoor person! This would be a perfect read for the Easter or summer holidays, as it perfectly encapsulates that exciting sense of holiday. If you’re giving this to children, you might well end up with some budding amateur detectives, as the mystery is super compelling. What appears at first to be the kids’ overactive imagination turns out to be an actual jewel heist… and to tell you any more would be to spoil the fun of watching them solve it!
I’m really looking forward to the rest of the Clifftoppers series, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to anyone who loves a good bit of adventure or misses the Famous Five. Four out of five cats!