Friday, February 8, 2019

ReadItDaddy's Chapter Book of the Week - Week Ending 8th February 2019: "The Midnight Hour" by Benjamin Read and Laura Trinder (Chicken House Books)

This week's Chapter Book of the Week isn't the first fictional dalliance with the darkest night for Benjamin Read and Laura Trinder...
Back in the mists of time, Benjamin and Laura collaborated on the fantastic "Night Post" (published under their Improper Books umbrella). Quite rightly it nabbed "Book of the Week" thanks to some brilliant wordless storytelling as well as some truly glorious (and cleverly referential) artwork.

They're back once again in our Book of the Week slot, this time with a middle grade chapter book par excellence once again delving into an unseen and hidden nocturnal world.

This time it's a strange version of London that exists in an alternate universe, one that Emily's parents have vanished into.

This then is the secret world of the Midnight Hour - a Victorian London frozen in time. This is a London inhabited by strange monsters and ghostly entities and poor Emily is her parents' only hope. She must find them in the city of the Night Folk, armed only with a packed lunch, a stowaway hedgehog and her infamously big mouth.

Emily soon realises that more connects her and her family to this bizarre world than first thought - and that she'll need more than just her cleverness and luck to help her in this difficult quest.

Straight away we were drawn into this alt-London, so cinematically described and atmospherically wrought by Benjamin and Laura. As the first in an intended series, this is destined to become one of the chapter book highlights of our year, featuring a deftly described mix of magic and monsters with an ordinary girl at its centre.

Utterly unmissable!

"The Midnight Hour" by Benjamin Read and Laura Trinder is out now, published by Chicken House Books (kindly supplied for review).