4 out of 4 stars
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After recovering from a near-fatal fall on the school playground, Effie wants nothing more than to put it all behind and enjoy the summer holidays at her family cottage on Crystal Beach. But, unfortunately, Effie finds that a change of scenery does nothing to alleviate her dizzy spells or headaches. She feels disconnected from her brother and fears that her parents might divorce. If that isn’t worrisome enough, spooky things keep happening—nonsensical whispering that only she can hear and the presence of a strange girl that no one else can see.
Something is going on, and Effie is determined to find out how it all connects to her. With her twin brother, Jimmy, and good friend, Lydia, Effie hopes to unearth information that will help her solve the mystery before it's too late.
Mystic of the Midway by A. A. Blair is a charming book for children about overcoming obstacles and harnessing one’s unique gifts. The novel is told from the third-person perspective, following Stephanie Rose Strawn (Effie) as she navigates the challenges of life after an accident, including the effect that it’s had on her family.
The thing that I loved most about the book was the author’s ability to utilize his own experiences to create an immersive story. Much of the book takes place at an amusement park that existed until the late eighties, and there are photographs of the rides and main attractions. Because of the pictures and the vivid descriptions, the amusement park scenes will come to life for young readers. I felt like I was one of Effie’s friends—walking down the midway with her!
Honestly, the book was flawless, and I can’t think of anything I disliked about it. I can picture my nine-year-old self with blankets over my head and flashlight in hand, devouring the pages of this book long after my bedtime.
The book was edited exceptionally well, and I didn’t find a single error, so I have chosen to give it a rating of four out of four stars. The writing was descriptive, immersive, and ignited my imagination. Mystic of the Midway would appeal to young readers who enjoy mysterious stories with a sprinkle of age-appropriate fright. The book also emphasizes the importance of facing one’s fears with the support of caring friends.
Go and grab a copy; you won't be disappointed!
Mystic of the Midway
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