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The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones, Will Mabbit   Age 9+

‘Have you ever been kidnapped by pirates in the middle of the night and forced to walk the Greasy Pole of Certain Death? Or challenged a giant grizzly bear to a milk drinking contest? Or gone on a dangerous quest in search of mysterious treasure? What’s that? You haven’t? Then the unlikely adventures of Mabel Jones are almost certainly too terrifying for you. Put this book down at once!’


Mabel Jones is busy minding her own business in bed one night, when she’s taken by pirates having unwittingly performed ‘the deed’ that opens the door to the pirate world.  Faced with the evil wolf Captain Idryss Ebenezer Spit, who declares that no girl could ever be a proper pirate, she is certain to meet a sticky (greasy) end....Or is she? For something stops them sending her to the icy depths – her ability to read! With this in mind, the Captain keeps her alive and forces her to stay on the Feroshus Maggot pirate ship to help with a frightening quest searching for long lost treasure...Will she be able to keep her wits about her long enough to stay alive?  Which one of the devious pirates is trying to foil her attempts to find the clues? Finding the treasure is the only way Mabel will get back home. With no one to help her, Mabel Jones must prove her pirate worth, maybe even discovering a friend or two amongst the dastardly crew!


A rip-roaring pirate adventure!  Mabel Jones is a great character full of pluck and courage, and very good at thinking her way out of the various predicaments she lands in.  The pirate crew turns out to be a bit friendlier than she first thought and Mabel soon earns their respect.  Old Sawbones the ship’s surgeon, Pelf a pipe-smoking goat and the creepy Omynus Hushh are just a few of the unusual crew members. Captain Spit is vile and really quite scary, and does his best to frighten the life out of Mabel, whose motto ‘I am Mabel Jones and I am not scared of anything’ comes in quite useful!  Full of thrills and spills, this story is a great fun read with echoes of Roald Dahl and Lemony Snicket about it.  Fantastic illustrations bring the characters to life and lots of play with the font and text add to the crazy plot. The story is clever and just complicated enough to keep you interested, but not too confusing for younger readers.  It would be a great story to read aloud, with lots of opportunity for shared reading and pirate voices. If you’re easily offended by toilet humour or don’t enjoy a little bit of the macabre, this isn’t for you. But for those who like adventure, hilarity, silliness and a few bloodthirsty pirates then Mabel Jones is perfect! Who knew that nose-picking could have such disastrous consequences?!


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