Friday, July 24, 2020

The Mulberry Tree by Allison Rushby (Middle Grade Book Review)

I received a DRC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Mulberry Tree
Written by
Allison Rushby
Published by
Candlewick Press
on July 14, 2020
Genre: Children's/MG
Length: 304 pages
9 - 12 years

Do naught wrong by the mulberry tree, or she'll take your daughters... one, two, three.
Is the eerie tree beside their bucolic cottage really a threat to ten-year-old Immy? Legend and hearsay give way to a creepy series of events in this captivating mystery.

My Thoughts:

Imogen "Immy" Watts and her parents move from Sydney, Australia to a small village in Cambridgeshire, England for her mother's new job. Immy's mother really wants the English cottage experience so they end up renting 'Lavender Cottage' despite the dark and foreboding ancient mulberry tree that spreads ominously over the back garden and the local gossip that the tree has stolen two girls away on their eleventh birthday. Immy just happens to be turning eleven soon, but she and her parents aren't all that superstitious and they wave off the concerns of the townspeople. But Immy can't shake the feeling that there really is something wrong with the mulberry tree and that she might end up as the latest victim!

This is a really cute story wrapped up in a mysterious and somewhat spooky shell. The mystery of the mulberry tree looms ominously over real-life issues that Immy, her parents, and the other townsfolk experience. Immy tries to unravel the mystery of the mulberry tree and the missing girls before it's too late while also maneuvering a new school, bitter rivals, and a father with PTSD.

While this seems like a strictly spooky read, it actually includes a lot of contemporary topics and touches on bullying, depression, guilt, and more. There's a good balance of everyday life and the mystery and thrill of the spooky tree. It's a great coming-of-age story with a few useful life-lessons thrown in and it has a happy ending!

I would recommend this to young readers who want a mystery but not too much spook!


1 comment:

  1. This is the type of story I am hoping my grandchildren like. I would have devoured this.