From the book jacket: Corby Flood and her family are about to set sail on
the rather ramshackle cruise ship, the S.S. Euphonia. Her boisterous brothers
might not have noticed that anything is wrong, but Corby is highly observant and
has a lot of time for note-taking and eavesdropping. Onboard, among the odd
passengers and eccentric crew, there is a strange group of men in bowler-hats
who call themselves The Brotherhood of Clowns. There's also a melancholy wailing
sound coming from the hold. It's strictly out of bounds but Corby can't help
investigating. What could be inside the crate she discovers down in the hold? As
the ship arrives at its destination, Corby must enlist the help of some very
well mustachioed locals to uncover the contents of the crate and the dark
secrets of the menacing Clowns...
Comment: (by Natasha, aged 10). Corby Flood is a little girl about my age who's on a boat with her family when she notices there's a sad singing noise coming from the hold and she goes to investigate. It's a fantastic novel with wonderful characters and great adventures. I really liked the clown characters, who are all named after typefaces, like Mr Times New Roman - who is a really evil man and the leader of the evil clowns. This is the second in the series but you don't have to have read the first one, I haven't and I still enjoyed it! I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, which hopefully will come out soon.
I recommend this book for kids 7 to 12.
Paul Stewart, the author of Corby Flood, was born in 1955 in London. For several years he taught English as a foreign language in Sri Lanka. Returning to England, he became a primary school teacher before becoming a full-time writer. His first book was published in 1988.
Chris Riddell, the illustrator, is familiar to both children and adults for his distinctive line drawings with their clever caricature, fascinating detail and often enchanting fantasy elements. In addition to his children's book work, Chris is a renowned political cartoonist whose work appears regularly in England's The Observer, The Literary Review and The New Statesman.
Both Chris and Paul live in Brighton, on the south coast of England, with their families.
This review is from the September 6, 2006 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.
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