Review: The Mystery Tour – Judi Curtin

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Friends Forever: The Mystery Tour

Judi Curtin

Puffin 2013

10-12, Contemporary, Friendship, Historical

In their third time-travelling adventure, Lauren, Tilly and Saturn the cat wind up in wartime Britain. Arriving in London 1939 during a blackout, the girls must try to blend into this very different world. What starts out as an exciting adventure becomes more serious as they see the impact the war is having on their new friends, and experience rationing and air raid drills. Will they ever make it home again?

This book is part of a series, but also works as a stand-alone. As the title of the series suggests, friendship is at the heart of the book – both the bond between Lauren and Tilly, and the friendships they make with people in the past. These new friends include Violet, a young girl they meet when being evacuated from London, who is struggling to come to terms with her father being at war, and to find a way to feel useful and cope with her disability. Violet and the girls stay with Ellie, an elderly lady who tells them wonderful stories, and they also befriend George, a local boy who wants to sign up for the army. There is a hint of romance, but the focus on friendship in the text is refreshing and echoes Judi Curtin’s Megan and Alice series. The three girls are strong, empowered characters who make a difference to those around them, and show great bravery and intelligence.

The Friends Forever series is a very enjoyable way of learning about history – Lauren and Tilly’s adventures are sure to get readers excited about the past. While The Mystery Tour does deal with some of the hardships of life during World War Two, it is a light and enjoyable read overall. The happy ending may not be entirely convincing, but it is certainly touching and satisfying. I look forward to reading about more of Lauren and Tilly’s time-travelling escapades!

Originally reviewed for Inis Magazine.

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