Property Jones can’t read. When she was 5, she was found abandoned in a bookshop owned by the Jones family who later adopted her. Every day she pretends to her book-loving family that she can in fact read. By the time she is 11, the lie is so deeply rooted that she can’t tell her family.
As a reader, it is always a pleasure to find a book about books. Despite Property not being able to read, she loves books. She loves the feel of them, the smell of them, the sound they make when you close them. She believes that the tactile nature of books lets each book tell its own story regardless of the words on the page. Wow! It’s this sort of message that I am constantly telling children about and the reason I’ve never taken to my Kindle.
Of course, the words in this book tell a tremendous story as well. Property’s family unexpectedly win ownership of the country’s biggest and best bookshop. It isn’t any old bookshop though, it’s a mechanical bookshop with moving rooms themed around books. How I wish it were real!
The plot suddenly takes a turn for the worse as the family are conned out of their new bookshop. Cue Property and her brother Michael taking control of the situation. The plot, as with the book emporium, is magical if not realistic, but who cares? I was pulled along by Property, taking every step with her. There’s something about her which grabbed me.
I couldn’t put this book down. It’s a straight-forward easy read, which moves along quickly and never has a dull moment. At it’s heart, it is an adventure story filled with innocence and books. It is a book for book-lovers, for children and a book to inspire less confident readers. Thank you Sylvia Bishop for a great read!
Age recommendation: 7-10
Paperback: 176 pages