The Book Case Review

Title: The Book Case
Author: Dave Shelton
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Publication Date: 05 April 2018
Source: Jonathan Ball Publishers
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 368
Rating: 3.3 Stars
Reading Timeline: 28 March 2019

Goodreads Synopsis:

Daphne is off to St Rita’s, an exclusive girls’ boarding school. It sounds awfully respectable and Daphne herself is awfully respectable too. She loves to read, and is delighted to be offered the chance to interview for Librarian’s assistant’s assistant immediately upon arrival.

But it turns out nothing is quite what you’d expect at St Rita’s—you can’t trust a padlock if the fourth graders are around, the floor has holes from cannonballs, the smell in the dining room is disgustingly foul, and Daphne discovers the librarian doesn’t really exist.

But there is a librarian’s assistant, Emily Lime. And she’s really a crime-solving genius, who’s looking for a new assistant of her own. And booksmart Daphne is just the girl for the job, because mystery and intrigue are about to strike St Rita’s and Emily Lime is going to need all the help she can get…. 

Book Review:
Pre-reading Thoughts:

First of all, this book is absolutely gorgeous, the bare hardcover has gold foiling on the spine with some books on it. I am really intrigued to see where this middle grade goes because I hardly ever get the chance to read them.

Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball Publishers for spoiling me with the hardcover of this book! Just a small disclaimer for those reading this review, I have received this book for free. Please note that this does not affect my opinions in any way. All thoughts are my own.

Writing Thoughts:

The writing is light and easy to get into which is perfect for middle-grade readers. There is nothing too complicated, however, the book does have a lot of descriptions that can make the writing heavy for some readers. The dialogue is quirky and strange which makes it fun to read. I loved the illustrations that are found pretty much on every second page. The drawings may be simple but they capture the reader almost immediately.

Plot Thoughts:

The plot kind of let me down in this book. We are thrown into the world of Daphne. This leaves the reader disconnected from the story because there isn't enough world building to guide us through all of the strange and interesting events that are about to happen. With that being said, I quite liked how every student we meet has a purpose in the school.

Character Thoughts:

Each character that we are introduced to is fun and quirky. They help to tell the story and make everything more interesting. I did, however, find that I wasn't able to form an attachment to any of the characters. You could chalk it up to the fact that this book is written for young children and I am obviously not part of that category. With that being said, I definitely think that each character does have something that a young reader would find accessible.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, I liked this book. I wasn't pulled in and I wasn't blown away but this book was enjoyable. It was quirky, British and interesting. I liked the light writing and eye-grabbing illustrations. The plot that was all over the place was interesting but the lack of world-building meant that I was disconnected from the plot until I settled in. The characters were fun and had individual quirks that made them stand out but I didn't form any attachments to them. However, at the end of the day, I liked the book and think it is perfect for young readers. Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book!

Yours in Reading,


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