Book Review: The Bookshop Girl
The Bookshop Girl
Written by Sylvia Bishop
Illustrated by Ashley King
Published by Scholastic
Publication date: 2nd March 2017
Age range: 8+
Summary (from Goodreads):
This story is about a little girl named Property Jones, so-called because she was left in the lost property cupboard of a bookshop when she was five years old. Property loves living in the bookshop, but she has a whopper of a secret… she can’t actually read! So Property doesn’t see the newspaper article announcing the chance to win the Montgomery Book Emporium, the biggest and most magnificent bookshop in the world! When her family win the competition, Property finds herself moving to the Emporium, a magical place filled with floor upon floor of books and a very bad-tempered cat. But all is not at it seems at the Emporium and soon Property Jones finds herself in a whole heap of trouble.
Property Jones was eleven years old when our story begins. She had been living with the Joneses for six years. She loved them very much, and she was almost entirely happy there. But she was never completely happy, because she was keeping a secret from them, and it was a whopper:
Property Jones couldn’t read.
I am so glad that I picked this one up after seeing it mentioned online.
The story follows Property Jones, a young girl who was adopted by the Jones family (Mother, Netty and son, Michael) after being forgotten in their bookshop. They struggle to make ends meet, so a competition to take over the Montgomery Book Emporium seems too good to be true. The owner disappears rather quickly, leaving the family to explore the magical themed rooms of the bookshop, controlled by a massive ferris wheel. Then, someone turns up looking for the owner and it turns out that there is much more to the story than they know…
The strength of this book lies in the characters and the warmth of their love for each other – this book will leave your heart feeling full!
Property may be unable to read and she is keenly aware of the disadvantage she is at when working in a bookshop, flanked by her adoptive mother and brother who love reading. Yet, what she doesn’t see is that she has lots of other strengths and unique skills which she uses to solve the mystery.
A lovely book for children aged 8 or over – highly-recommended!
I dare you to read it without immediately wanting to visit a bookshop and soak in the magic!
What I liked: Bookshop setting, importance of reading, plucky main character, family bonds, morally-grey villains.
Even better if: Will there be a sequel?
How you could use it in your classroom: Would make a fun read-aloud as well as a good recommendation for children who are intimidated by large blocks of text – this is set out in a really friendly way with spacing and images. Could spark a discussion about the importance of literacy, family bonds, as well as act as a springboard for children to design their own amazing bookshop / themed room.
(Thank you to my wonderful library for ordering in a copy for me!)
What did other people think?
Korie @ Reading at 3am said: “Such a cute story with mystery and intrigue.”
Eleanor @ What is it about books? said: “As a book lover it is the perfect read – who wouldn’t want to live in what sounds like the most amazing bookshop?! The story combines my favourite things – books and a bit of adventure – so I was very happy. ”
Thanks for reading!