MG Takes on Thursday

This is my weekly meme celebrating amazing middle-grade books. I hope others will enjoy taking part in this too!

How to take part:

  • Post a picture of the front cover of a middle-grade book which you have read and would recommend to others with details of the author, illustrator and publisher.
  • Open the book to page 11 and share your favourite sentence. 
  • Write three words to describe the book.
  • Either share why you would recommend this book, or link to your review.

This week, I’m celebrating …

Written by Sharon Gosling
Illustrated by Hannah Peck
Published by Little Tiger Group

Favourite Sentence from Page 11:

She had no intention of being sent to the poorhouse and she’d move heaven and earth to make sure Sadie and Nell didn’t end up in an orphanage.

This book in three words:


My recommendation this week is for The House of Hidden Wonders, a book I read back in April 2020. It is a superbly gripping historical adventure set in a richly detailed and immersive Victorian Edinburgh which immediately captured me in the richly atmospheric and intriguing prologue, and kept me enthralled until the final page.

Zinnie and her little sisters, Nell and Sadie, scrape a meagre living on the streets of Edinburgh, and live in the tunnels beneath it.  Zinnie has taken both of the younger girls, who are orphans, into her heart and is determined to protect them and keep them safe:  the strength of their sisterly bond is beautifully portrayed throughout.  These unbreakable bonds of sisterhood are a strong theme within the story, and the relationships between the sisters was incredibly touching, especially in Zinnie’s absolute commitment to saving her youngest sister when she becomes desperately ill.   

Zinnie’s life changes forever when she attends a séance, on behalf of none other than a young Arthur Conan Doyle, being organised by the independently wealthy widow Lady Sarah Montague.  It is not long before she finds herself at the centre of a dark and utterly intriguing mystery: uncovering hidden secrets within the House of Wonders museum;  revealing the true story of the ghost haunting the tunnels; and, uncovering the perpetrator of a crime from the past that has come to the streets of her home … The plot is intricate, action-packed, heart-stopping, and so very, very clever:  I was utterly compelled to follow Zinnie who proves to be a rather brilliant sleuth in her own right.

The portrayal of strong adult female characters in this story is wonderful.  Lady Sarah Montague is an independent widow who uses her wealth to fulfil her sense of adventure by undertaking intrepid expeditions, and is quite capable of standing up for herself, and woe betide any man who thinks she should be doing otherwise!  Dr Sophia Jex-Blake is a real historical figure, being the first female doctor in Scotland:  I found the Author’s Historical Note regarding her fascinating.

This is an utterly compelling historical adventure with its inspirational female characters, realistic setting, and gripping mystery with all of its superb twists and turns.  A brilliant read for year 6+.

You can read my full review here.

I’d love if anyone who wants to give this meme a go would comment in the comments box and include a link to your post so I can visit, comment and find some great middle-grade recommendations. If you do create a post and are on Twitter, and would like to share your post, please use the hashtag  #MGTakesOnThursday so I can find it, read it and share it!

4 thoughts on “MG Takes on Thursday

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