I love reading, and I am always on the lookout for a wonderful read. Recently I was online reading the BBC News and saw that Andy Mulligan won the Guardian Children’s prize for fiction for his newest book Return to Ribblestrop. I never heard of the award before but when I am on a mission to find great books I plow forward. It was worth the search.

Ribblestrop, his first book, was published in 2009 and will be part of a trilogy, with the last book being completed now.  Trash, published in 2010, tells the story of children who live under a military regime and survive by tramping throw mounds of trash to find anything saleable.

Getting his books in the US is not that easy. First I went to our library catalog and only found Trash. The other books I ordered online from Amazon.

His stories, at least the two I read, are told from the vantage point of children. All his kids are curious, bright and full of adventure. Not all succeed at what they try, but they persevere until they find satisfactory resolutions to seemingly impossible situations.

The stories show an appreciation of humor against a backdrop of some of the real problems that kids face. 

Millie, the only girl at Ribblestrop , breaks all the rules about hitch-hiking when she tries to return to school. “Rule number one is don’t hitch-hike, but Millie spent all her money one unbeatable bargains. Rule two states that if you have to hitch-hike, don’t do it on your own and if you broke rule one and two, then tell people where you are going, start early, take a phone, keep your door locked, and don’t every ever ever find yourself penniless, on the side of a deserted road…..  Millie broke all the rules.

If you are a fan of the Montessori or Waldorf methods of education you will love meeting the staff and kids at Ribblestrop. Kids set the tone for their school days and decide what they will learn and when. Each child seems to surpass my expectations of what kids are capable of. Kids as young as five are dissecting rats. One rate was pregnant and Sanjay separated out the fetus.  Oli built a remote controlled submarine from old parts he found. And Tomaz creates an apartment within an underground tunnel.

Both you and your kids can have some fun and explore new worlds with Andy Mulligan.

Let me know what you think of this author and his approach to children’s literature.

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