What lies hidden in the mud? What might happen if you look at it too long? And what will happen if you let it go?
Twelve-year-old Nina is not happy. Her scientist parents are spending a year in Antarctica. And Nina's being sent to London to stay with her Aunt Bee, an intertidal archaeologist, who lives on a converted barge on the Thames. She's also a keen mud larker, combing the river mud for fascinating, long-forgotten articles from past lives. Nina arrives with an Attitude. Her parents have never left her behind before. It takes time for her to settle in, helped by the MudPuddlers, a local group of enthusiastic amateur mud larks, and especially by Molly, an elderly MudPuddler living on a nearby barge. Molly draws Nina into the magic and mystery of the ancient river and its treasures. When she finds herself stranded in time, in the Blitz in 1940, Nina and a very unwilling fellow traveller, Tom, become runaways, fumbling their way across wartime England, desperate to return to London. Will they ever see their families again?
Another thoroughly entertaining story from Pamela Rushby, linking the modern world with the past. Nina is a great character and her adventures in the past will have readers who love historical fiction fascinated by what she discovers. There are great author’s notes at the end of the book that will help with understanding what Nina lives through. A perfect book for readers in the lower secondary years.
Pamela Rushby, author of over 200 books for children, brings assurance and skill to her sweetly engaging tale of a time-travelling twelve year old girl, Nina… If there is a book that could fire children’s interests in history, this is it. And the message of this book might be that if we can bring our imaginations to bear on history we will find there much to fascinate, impress and horrify us. Nina is a wonderfully observant and smart character. You feel that she is on the verge of becoming someone special in the years ahead. It is an uplifting story, but one that doesn’t shy from the many limitations we experience as children, and as adults. Highly recommended for readers from nine or ten onwards.
The Mud Puddlers is a wonderful fast-paced middle-grade read where past and present meet, where historical events are presented in an engaging and exciting story, and where a young girl learns to let go of her unhappiness. The inclusion of further information about the events covered in the story is a very welcome and thoughtful addition. This well written and very entertaining story would make an excellent class novel.
This is a great read, well-researched, and full of adventures through history that leaves the reader enriched in knowledge and wanting more.
Kids Book Review
Oozing with atmosphere, animated characters and a fascinating glimpse into London’s not so distant history, this middle grade fiction beckons kids to believe in the possibility of time slipping… The Mud Puddlers is an extraordinary and highly recommended read. One where you feel both relaxed with the telling, absorbed by the detail and thrilled by the outcomes. Esoteric moments, historic forays and staunch relationships make this an unforgettable experience.