**Middle Grade Readers
As a mother of four who is keen to do everything within her most humble power to ensure that her children grow up with a love of reading, happening upon a book like Anyone But Ivy Pocket is something akin to discovering a jewel-filled treasure chest in the backyard.
It’s unexpected and, to borrow a phrase from Ivy Pocket herself, monstrously exciting.
Ivy is wrong in all the right kind of ways. A 12 year-old maid with next-to-no tact and a very big opinion of herself, she’s an unlikely heroine who you just know is going to get herself into lots of trouble.
And she does. When the dying Duchess of Trinity summons Ivy to her bedside and offers her 500 pounds if she will deliver the very rare and rather magical Clock Diamond to England and put it around the neck of the revolting Matilda Butterfield on her twelfth birthday, how can Ivy refuse?
From here Ivy is swept up into an adventure of mystery, intrigue and the odd raw potato. Her Clock Diamond quest involves funny little men in flowing brown cloaks and a shriveled up Governess who is not quite what she seems. Then there’s that revolting Matilda Butterfield…
There’s lots to love about Anyone But Ivy Pocket. For a start it’s enchantingly illustrated hard-back cover instantly makes you want to open it up and dive on in. Once you have, Ivy and her quirky narration of the story place you right in the centre of all the madcap mayhem.
I note comparisons are already being made between this and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, a series that stretched to 13 books. Indeed, at the end of Anyone But Ivy Pocket there is no doubt left in the reader’s mind that Ivy has many more adventures in her. My guess is she’s set to win a legion of dedicated fans.
Anyone But Ivy Pocket is recommended for ages 9-11. My 10 year-old began reading it last night and continued to do so over breakfast this morning. Just quietly, I think Ivy might already have won her.