Friday 5 December 2014

Review: SeaBEAN - Sarah Holding

This exciting adventure novel for children aged 8-14 has a heat-sensitive cover. Children will be surprised, when they pick up the novel, to find that their hot hands reveal the dramatic seascape on the front and back cover. This fades to its original darkness when it cools.

On her 11th birthday in 2018, Alice finds a mysterious black box on the beach. She discovers it's called a C-Bean and imagines it belongs to her. Together with her five schoolmates - the only children on the newly re-inhabited remote island of St Kilda - they soon realise it has extraordinary powers and can transport them anywhere in the world.

Before long, Alice and her friends find themselves immersed in all sorts of thrilling adventures, from Central Park to the Amazonian rainforest to the backstreets of Hong Kong, as they uncover danger and subterfuge threatening the world's eco-systems.

With a stray dog and a garrulous parrot they seem to have acquired along the way, they overcome their fears as the C-Bean helps them unravel the mysteries of time and tides, understand the interconnectedness of all things, and in the process succeed in safeguarding the future of their tiny Scottish island.

Seabean Trilogy:

Visit Sarah Holding's website for more information

I don't read much middle grade fiction but when I heard about this trilogy and realised it aimed to teach children about climate change and global warming I knew I wanted to give it a try. The cool heat sensitive, colour changing covers didn't hurt either and I have to admit to spending more than a little time playing with them trying to see the full image underneath the dark top layer!

SeaBEAN is the first book in the trilogy and it introduces us to eleven year old Alice and her school friends. Alice lives on the small, isolated island of St Kilda with a handful of other families who are all working on a way of harnessing wave power and turning it into electricity. This story focuses on Alice's adventures with her friends after a mysterious, futuristic device is delivered to the island. The C-Bean was sent by an anonymous donor and is meant to be a new classroom for the island school but it doesn't take long for the friends to realise that the C-Bean has mysterious abilities that open them up to a whole world of adventure.

SeaBEAN is a fun and fast paced adventure story that is sure to appeal to younger readers. I like the fact that there is an underlying message there but that the environmental issues aren't forced down reader's throats - it's educational without being too much and I think that works better when it comes to getting a message across. The C-Bean reminded me of Doctor Who's Tardis and I can't wait to see what kind of journey it takes Alice and her friends on in the next book.

Source: Received from Midas PR in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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