Alice-Miranda at Camp by Jacqueline Harvey – Review
By Daisy (aged 10) and Jayne Crow (mum)
When Alice-Miranda goes on camp with her school, things get suspicious as paintings are discovered and a pair of criminals caught. Alice-Miranda will have to use her sleuthing skills to uncover the mystery!
I liked this book in some ways as the settings were exciting and the mystery was fairly gripping and fun to read. However, I found the pace of the story slow and the plot, slightly dull.
This book is one of a series and as I hadn’t read them all in order, I found that there were themes and ideas that were mentioned that I didn’t understand.
I wasn’t sure who Jacqueline Harvey was aiming the book at at times as it seemed a little young for me, but the language and some of the scenes were quite mature.
Unfortunately, it didn’t leave me feeling like I wanted to read any more in the series.
Daisy has read some of the other Alice-Miranda books and enjoyed the Enid Blyton-esque “jolly hockey sticks” boarding school setting. She was looking forward to reading Alice-Miranda at Camp.
However, it quickly became apparent that this is a book that doesn’t quite know what it is. Some of the themes are fairly mature and the author employs a broad vocabulary which is appropriate for an older child. However, the whole novel has a fairytale quality to it which feels slightly patronising for an older audience.
After a time, the hero of the story, Alice-Miranda, proves somewhat irritating and it is hard to connect with this over-privileged and forthright young character.
There are significant chunks of text which rely on previous knowledge from other Alice-Miranda novels and Jacqueline Harvey’s attempts to fill in the gaps can feel a little clunky.
All in all, not one of Daisy’s favourites and I am not sure that she will be returning to Winchesterfield-Downsfordvale Academy for Proper Young Ladies any time soon.
‘Alice-Miranda at Camp’ by Jacqueline Harvey is published by Red Fox, £6.99