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There are books that come along that just feel truly special and this is one of them. Completely enthralling, sublimely written and with feminist and environmental themes that powerfully resonate, Sharon Gosling's 'The Extraordinary Voyage of Katy Willacott' is MG storytelling at its finest. As far as I'm concerned, it deserves all the accolades, and is up there as one of my favourite children's books of the year so far. 

Living among the flowers and ferns of Kew Gardens, Katy has always dreamed of more - of the sky and the stars and the sea. Unfortunately for Katy, her father doesn't understand. He says young girls should be content to stay at home, not go off gallivanting around the world. So when news reaches London of a meteorite falling in the faraway land of Brazil and an expedition being put together to find it, Katy knows it's her chance to follow her dreams and prove her father wrong. And winning a place on the trip is just the start of her extraordinary voyage on the trail of a fallen star...

Katy Willacott is an absolute marvel of a protagonist and I relished every moment of her adventure. She's daring, intelligent, insightful, resourceful, creative... one of the best characters in recent children's fiction. When my daughters are old enough this is one of the books I would love for them to read - to see how girls and women can achieve amazing things, in spite of what society might believe otherwise. At its heart the story is about Katy's desire to follow her dreams and set off on a voyage of discovery. Sharon Gosling absolutely nails the sense of adventure with the anticipation, the sense of awe and wonder permeating every chapter, underpinned by rich, historical detail that is so brilliantly immersive. There are villainous characters that make you recoil and characters to truly love. Every chapter enthrals. Every sentence sings. I don't want to give away what happens, only to say this is a marvellous example of a 'Hero's Journey' with the hero being a girl in love with science and the world around her. Awesome.


This is simply breathtaking storytelling: from dreaming of stars and meteorites to being swept off to sea and plunged into the Amazon. This is about flora and fauna, space and time, history and conquest, male and female, nature and power... it utterly captivates in so many ways. And, above all, it is just so inspiring - inspiring in its reminder for girls to pursue their dreams, while relishing in the wonder of the universe while taking care of our planet. Gosling's writing is also such an inspiration. I admire the shine and feat of Gosling's note-perfect storytelling so much. I may be going on but there are books that you just want to shout about and for everyone to read. So please do! Pick up a copy and follow Katy on her extraordinary voyage...



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