MG Takes on Thursday

This is my weekly meme celebrating amazing middle-grade books, now with a re-vamped banner!

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 Vashti Hardy
Illustration by George Ermos
Published by Scholastic

Favourite Sentence from Page 11:

“Nothing is so certain as the unexpected.” (Metal pike from the Rusty River)

This book in three words:

ADVENTURE, FRIENDSHIP, INVENTIVENESS

Harley Hitch and the Missing Moon is Harley’s second amazing adventure: an exuberantly delightful, exciting and fast-paced treat of a story that utterly charmed me.  This can be read as a standalone, but I have no doubt that young readers – if they have not already done so – will also want to get their hands on Harley Hitch and the Iron Forest which my class absolutely loved when I read it as a class read aloud. 

Harley Hitch is starting another term at Cogworks, and she is as determined as ever to win the elusive Pupil of the Term with its accompanying golden light bulb pin.  She decides that, in order to give herself the best chance to win, she must become the perfect pupil, so no change in hair colour, no adaptations to her uniform and no lateness.  Will Harley change herself so much that she will no longer be true to herself?

On her first day back at school, the students discover that Forgetown is to enjoy a spectacular show from Monocles’ Marvellous Machines Circus who are touring Inventia.  Persuaded to attend the circus by her best friend, Cosmo, Harley soon finds herself caught up in the magic of this mechanically-enhanced show.   Her natural curiosity is piqued and soon gets the better of her when she goes to investigate a cabinet which can make things disappear by teleportation. 

Harley accidentally damages the cabinet, and things begin to go missing in Forgetown … things like watches, trowels, ties and, oh yes, the MOON!  Could Harley be to blame for the missing items and unusual changes that are affecting Forgetown?  Will she be able to solve the mystery behind the missing items before things become even worse?

This is a brilliant adventure, with unexpected twists, that fizzes with energy and warmth as Harley and Cosmo work together to discover why the moon has disappeared.  I absolutely loved that some of my favourite characters from the first book returned in this one, including Sprocket, the robot-dog; the wise metal fish in the Rusty River; and, the ebullient stars.

Oh my!  I so adore Harley who really is the most wonderful young girl:  kind-hearted, resourceful and determined.  She has the courage to take responsibility for admitting her mistakes, learns the importance of being true to herself and stands up to unfairness.  Cosmo is a wonderful friend to Harley, helping her to appreciate that it is her unique style and individuality that makes her special. The relationship between Harley and her Grandads is just gorgeous.

The partial and full-page illustrations by George Ermos are stunning and capture the energy, fun and warmth of the story perfectly.  And, I loved, loved, loved the Beginners Guide to the Stars of Inventia. 

Harley Hitch and the Missing Moon sparkles with joy, warmth and inventiveness, and is a real treat of an adventure for readers of 7+.

Thank you to Harriet Dunlea and Scholastic for an early copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

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!

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