This is the amazing adventure of Mia and her brother Nik, who are exported through time via a seedpod and the help of Miss Tree Tales. The children are taken from their home in Texas to the Rain Forest in Costa Rica, where they meet siblings Selma and Rico along with their parents Juan, and Rita and their grandmother Abuelita, and so the children’s adventure begins on how chocolate is made. From white face monkeys that open the tough pods and spit out the seeds which in turn help new cacao trees to grow, to the fruit flies that help pollinate the cacao flower. While Rita teaches the children about the scientific facts of Cacao, Abuelita shares the traditions of the Mayan’s and their sacred and precious gift, the chocolate.
Mia and Nik are eventually transported to Switzerland, where they meet a young boy name Steve, and his dad, who introduce the children to the chocolate factory owner Mr Mylin. Here Mia and Nik learn about the manufacturing of chocolate, the type of chocolate that they are more familiar with, but they also noticed the big contrast to the lifestyle and work life of the families in the Rain forest, to those in the factory in Switzerland.
This is a great read for preteens, it has countless educational factors throughout the story, a must read for both family and the classroom. The cleverly written story breaks down the origin of chocolate in a simple and fun way, while sharing the scientific elements and historical facts, and how both animals and insects working together with nature to create something that we love but equally take for granted. I learnt a lot from this story myself and have a whole new respect for fruit flies.
Do you like chocolates? Do you like trees? Did you know that chocolate is made from the seeds of a tree? Join Mia and Nik on a chocolate mission and be a part of their incredible journey. This bean to bar story is sure to delight kids and adults alike. As special members of Miss Tree’s Plant Savers Club, Mia and Nik travel around the world to learn about different trees and their uses. In this book, they visit a cacao plantation in Costa Rica and a chocolate factory in Switzerland. Have fun gliding with them through a rainforest, exploring a chocolate planet, and collecting seeds for thought. Have you joined the Plant Savers Club? Together we will Protect, Sustain, Conserve!
This is the first book I have read by author Alessandra Torre.
By the very start I was sucked into the world of the main character, Helena Ross who is a best selling author, for years this young writer has been living the dream married to Simon and has a cute daughter Bethany, they have a beautiful home, and live the life that many may dream of. But is everything really as it seams?
From the word go we discover Helena has a very dark secret that she plans to share with the world, but this woman has some interesting and strange issues. She even gets her arch rival, a fellow writer to be the ghostwriter of her book. Why would a successful writer need a ghostwriter? good question, but I would place that on the spoiler alert. Helena has a time frame in which to get her book completed and so recruits some help. Her archenemy in the writing world is not quite whom she thinks they are, but through the eyes of the unlikely pair the story is unveiled.
I for one liked the ghost writer from the start, Helena however I warmed to in time.
I love the way Alessandra portrayed both characters, and I thoroughly enjoyed her writing style from the OCD Helena to the birthing of the calf, which took me down memory lane and reminded me of my first experience at the age of 8 when I witnessed a calf being birthed. As I sail along with this amazing gift of storytelling and being reminded now and again of Helena’s dark secret. Bang there is a twist in the story that I was not expecting, its the OMG moment and the gears shift, I’m totally hooked and can’t put the book down. Helena’s truth is about to be revealed when we are met with another twist at the end. I’ve been taken through a journey where I found this judgemental tyrannical person, controlling and annoying, to a turning point where I am totally and utterly on her side, and having real compassion for this woman. This is such an amazing book and beautifully written. You will be hooked from the beginning to end. You will travel down a road where the occasional hints are dropped regarding Helena’s dark secret, one that she will not carry to the grave, yet when the twist of the plot happens you will be horrified and saddened at the same time.
The story is about love, its about hate, its about loss, grief, and atonement.
Four years ago, I lied. I stood in front of the police, my friends and family, and made up a story, my best one yet. And all of them believed me.
I wasn’t surprised. Telling stories is what made me famous. Fifteen bestsellers. Millions of fans. Fame and fortune.
Now, I have one last story to write. It’ll be my best one yet, with a jaw-dropping twist that will leave the nation stunned and gasping for breath.
They say that sticks and stones will break your bones, but this story? It will be the one that kills me.
Cecile Hudson- Gray a Londoner takes to the mysterious tunnels below London underground on her 12th birthday. Here she meet some fascinating creatures, in particular Kuffi and his Wasp 79. The tunnels below is a magical place where music is tasted and not heard, like a combination of strawberry cupcake, salt and vinegar crisps along with pineapple juice. The home of creatures like Miss Lady- Bird whose voice has the power to touch your soul and taste of tears. Water is scares and light is limited, but life carries on regardless. Kuffi a foxed face man tall and handsome with spiky black whisker and amber eyes, is a kind heart, good Samaritan who takes Cecile under his wing in this strange world protecting her from the self-righteous Jacques D’or and the crows who appear to be the police of the underground but drunk on power. Cecile discovers that here they trade with buttons and eating earth worms as if they were spaghetti. When her friend Kuffi is imprisoned by Jacque D’or, Cecile adventure really begins as she is helped by the stag-faced teenage boy Luke who’s motives maybe questionable, as he shows an interest in the mysterious marble that Cecile got from her sister Hester on her birthday. Along with his friend Jasper who is a human but chose to settle in the tunnels, they set off to rescue Kuffi, meeting many interesting characters along the way, but never really sure who is friend and who is foe.
This wonderful imaginative story takes you on a great adventure in a world that is connected to London underground, which will delight many Londoners. Its clever and creative, allowing its readers to get lost in this make-believe world, and putting no limitations on the imagination. The ending is amazing and will not disappoint. This is a great read for 8-12yo, even for those that are young at heart, who love adventure and embrace the world of imagination with no boundaries.
The Tunnels Below by Nadine Wild-Palmer, London born children’s author, singer-songwriter an Channel 4 continuity announcer. Lets join Cecilia, in her magical adventure as she meets some weird and wonderful creatures in this fantasy world far below the streets of London.
On her twelfth birthday, the last thing Cecilia expected was to find herself lost in a labyrinth of tunnels beneath London. Afraid, alone, but determined, she sets to work on her escape, and soon realises that perhaps there is a reason she and the mysterious marble her sister gave her have ended up so far from home.
This beautiful haunting story takes us on a magnification adventure with three young children Eily, Micheal and Peggy, as they fight for survival, and beat the odds as they journey through their famine stricken homeland. You can not but admire their bravery and courage as they take on the mission to find their aunties, with the believe that both ladies are still alive. This is a beautiful and moving story bring history to life while still keeping the story-line a thrilling adventure. This is a must read, for anyone interested in the historical events surrounding the famine seen through the eyes of three young children, and a great way to give children an insight into Irish history.
I was hooked from the very beginning, with this fast paced page turner by author Penn. Firstly this is not a christian faith based story, but the writer takes us through Christian history and other faith based facts or myths while taking us to various countries across the globe sharing her in-debt knowledge of church history, historical documents and geographical locations. But I’ve taken it as it is, a fictional thriller of 12 stones that are supposedly belong to the apostles, which they received after the resurrection of Christ. They are not just any stones, when together they posses a very strong power. Our main female character Morgan Sierra, ex-military is our Lara Croft and Indiana Jones rolled into one. Morgan’s life is quickly turned upside down when her twin sister and niece are kidnapped, and she is now working against the clock to find these mystery stones, all 12 before Pentecost to pay as ransom for her family to a one Joseph Evertte who has his on plans for the stones and a great belief in their power. But of course she is not the only one on the hunt for the stones, there is a group called the ARKANE and the Thanatos both rivals who for their own reasons want the powerful stones by Pentecost. Morgan is joined on her quest by Jake Timber who works with the ARKANE but comes with plenty of resources and a plane at his beck and call, as they team up with plans to rescue Morgans family, we are taken to Spain, Italy, Iran, North Africa and eventually to America, with loads of conflicts and suspense, numerous deaths including sacrificial ones. There is a race against the clock and a comet called the Resurgam which coincides with Pentecost this is a fast paced story with some kick ass moments, there are times when I found the history of the church which is share with us through Morgan, overwhelming and slowed the pace just a little for me. But there are plenty of twist and turns, to pick it back up and push on with the good fight. By the end one will wonder if there is more to this world than materialistic, scientific explanations? Could this really happen? There may be a truth beyond what we see.
This is a good read for thriller lovers Lara Croft, Indian Jones and Dan Brown fans.
I love the authors description of Italy and Venice that i have added it to my list of places to visit.