Audience: 8-14 years
Genre: Speculative Fiction, Fantasy
NBWG Publishing: 9780994487384
Format: Paperback & Ebook
Fourteen-year-old Fingal O’Grady is convicted of theft and transported to Australia in the 1820s.
Almost two centuries later, fourteen-year-old would-be beautician Abigail Harrington finds a mysterious spider amulet and their two worlds collide. When both children are kidnapped they realise they’re in possession of an object with enormous power. The Peacock Spider of Tien Shan leads them on an exciting and dangerous journey where nothing is what it seems.
Fin couldn’t sleep, which made no sense. He’d slogged his guts out in Captain Godfrey’s garden all day, and as soon as the sun was up he’d have to do so again. “Hard labour, it’s your best chance at reform, lad,” the Captain had said when Fin and the other convicts first arrived at his grand North Sydney property, Craig Lodge. “You’ll keep my gardens pristine and you’ll be happy to do so, you understand? I know you have some education, but that won’t keep you from the lash if you misbehave.” With options as clear as that, of course Fin had chosen to behave.
The Time of the Jade Spider by The Northern Beaches Writers’ Group
“The winner was clear. The narrative was a page-turner. The story flowed seamlessly, and the characterisation was fantastic. A good old fashioned time slip story! Perfect for middle grade readers.” Paul MacDonald, The Children’s Bookshop at Beecroft, WABIAD Judge 2016
Women’s Ink, July 2017
By Judith O’Connor
Don’t let anyone tell you this novel, the fourth published by Northern Beaches Writers’ Group, is solely for young adults. I quickly found myself engrossed in a classic page-turner so full of action, imagination and suspense that I defy anyone, no matter what age, to put it down. The pace and energy of the plot, descriptive prose and surprise elements are a credit to the skill of the seven authors who, remarkably, wrote this book collaboratively. The deft hand of Editor-in-Chief, Zena Shapter, and her co-editors must no doubt take a lot of the credit for pulling the chapters together so seamlessly.
The book opens in 1829 with 14-year-old Fingal O’Grady, a convict assigned to the master of a grand North Sydney property, impulsively stealing a precious jade spider brooch with ancient and immense powers, The Peacock Spider of Tien Shan. But as he reached for the treasure ‘…slowly, so he didn’t knock anything over…it jumped. The brooch was in his hand and he hadn’t even touched it.’ Thus begins the story of a quest of good versus evil, symbolised by the unpredictable spider with its superhero qualities. The story spins over almost two centuries in time-travel style to the present day where Fin meets Abigail, ‘a girl who loved make-up, YouTube and selfies’. Young readers will love the smart phones, text messages that go viral, hits that trend, police chases, kidnappings, Halloween scares and tattoos, and chapters ending with cliffhangers… A rollicking story.
Zena Shapter (Author, Editor, Editor-in-Chief), Susan Steggall (Author, Editor, Illustrator), Chris Lake (Author, Editor), Kylie Pfeiffer (Author, Editor), Leah Boonthanom (Author), Madi Duncan (Author), Mijmark (Illustrator), and Kristin Prescott (Author).
The Time of the Jade Spider is available for purchase as an ebook or in print, with 50% profits going to The Kids Cancer Project. You can buy online for home delivery, or direct from us.
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