22. The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club by Alex Bell

I was so excited to start reading this, partly because the book I was trying to read was boring me senseless and partly because the synopsis of this sounded so good. This is another book from my Waterstones Haul.

Synopsis (as taken from back of book) is as follows:

Meet Shay Silverton Kipling, the Captain’s son and wolf whisperer.

Ethan Edward Rook, magician and Ocean Explorer.

Beanie, half elf, medic and, well, you have to meet Beanie…

And Stella Starflake Pearl, orphan and most determined of explorers.

When Stella joins the Polar Bear Explorers on an expedition to the Iceland’s, her eyes are opened to a world of danger, adventure and snow pirates?

Out in the icy wilds there are giant yetis, magical golden geese, terrifying carnivorous cabbages and important new friendships to be made.

Join the explorers on an unforgettable adventure across the ice…

Ability to read – I found it really easy to get into this book. From the beginning I was awarded with a world unknown to me and was able to dive in and understand what I was reading and be able to form my own imagination picture of what was happening within the story. This is a children’s book, so the words on the page weren’t cramped in but still enough to make you feel like you are reading something worthwhile. This book is aimed at 9 year olds but would make a good ‘chapter a night’ book for 7+

Characterisation – I always worry with books that introduce multiple main characters. I can only count a handful of books that have done it masterfully well. Although the main characters here aren’t as vast as say Harry Potter, it offers a lot of perspectives for the story and allows you to form opinions of the four main characters and not get stuck in a chaos of in-distinctive voices. It was interesting to watch the characters develop and learn why they behaved a certain way. I got to learn a lot about the character’s but there is still some mystery surrounding them (that I’m sure will be learnt in the sequel.)

Visualisation – Again, it was easy for me to visualise this. That is partly due to the ease in which I was able to read this book and also because of the level of detail and description that lay on the pages. I was able to create a vivid picture of what was happening through my own imagination and was able to tweak it according to what I’d interpreted from the book. I felt that the level of description and detail was at the right level for this book. It wouldn’t be hard for a child to visualise what was happening either.

Uniqueness – Following on the back of book No. 20 ‘The Explorer’ by Katherine Rundell, this book offered a different take on the explore/adventure genre. Not just explorers but explorers that belong to different clubs (whose rule books lie hidden at the back of the book), I felt like I was reading something that was new for me. I don’t think I have read something similar to this, at least not to my knowledge, or not for many years. I thought the entire premise of the book was very well thought out and there were many humorous moments that I hadn’t expected.

Problems – I didn’t have any problems with this book and am now starting to read the sequel to it. Alex Bell got me hooked from the first page and took me on an adventure that had me laughing one moment and worrying for the character’s the next. It has a lot of heart and touches upon friendship in a way that reminds you not to judge a person too harshly if you don’t have all the facts.

This book is definitely staying on my shelf! (I might need to buy another shelf!) Can’t wait to read the sequel.

Hannah xoxo

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