Harini Srinivasan's Reviews > Moles

Moles by Andrew Strong
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's review
Mar 27, 12

bookshelves: children-s, adventure

A quick and fun read, with a wry, intriguing narrative voice. Alf, the hero, is the fourth generation in the Picton family that owns the Old Forge Hotel, and looks like he'll be the last. But he refuses to give up without a fight. His parents are strangely passive and utterly useless, and allow their children to stay out of school and run the hotel while they themselves pursue other interests. Alf's sister Hattie is strange, too -- she specializes in anagrams and funerals for dead animals. And there are rather too many of those. I almost gave up the book when the second animal was killed, but I'm glad I persisted, because Karma establishes justice very satisfactorily.

Alf is a boy with ideas, determination and an unusual willingness to work hard -- a good example for young readers. He also has a host of energetic people helping him, including an earl, a history professor and a bunch of potholers -- all guests at the hotel, a genius gardener and a cook who does nothing but break his limbs. There are plenty of surprises, and a mystery that you didn't even suspect existed until it is solved. Very clever! I really enjoyed this book. Thanks to the British Library's family membership plan, I am now on a diet of completely unheard of (at least by me) children's books, a real treat!

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