Publication Date: 26 May 2022
All it takes is a little magic to find your voice
Alice Tonks is eager to make friends at boarding school, but she’s always found it hard to fit in. Then she discovers she is a switcher and can talk to animals.
As she starts to explore her newfound abilities, to her horror she learns that creatures are going missing. Only Alice holds the key to solving the mystery, but she’ll need to harness her full powers first. And to do that she’ll need a bit of help from her new friends – animal and human alike.
With plenty of plot twists to keep you guessing, this is a fantastically fun mystery that grips from beginning to end.
We meet Alice as she prepares to start her new life at Pebblewood School, where she knows changes are coming and she’s going to have to mask harder than ever before to fit in. From having to share a room to controlling her stimming, she worries about making new friends, and that’s before a gull starts talking to her with a dire warning and a plea for her help.
As she realises being autistic isn’t the only thing that makes her different, we see her tentative steps to friendship falter with outgoing room mate, Ottie, and unwaveringly kind Tim. She soon sees she isn’t the only one hiding things but doesn’t know how to ask how to help them. As they both immerse themselves in afterschool clubs, she takes herself to the library and realises that’s exactly where she needs to be to research the history of missing animals in the local area. I loved her first interaction with Tim at the beach, and unpacking with Ottie, beautiful reminders of how simple acts of kindness and empathy make our world a nicer place.
I loved the supporting cast of animals, from the accepting Agent T and Constance, to the more wary animals unsure of the new Switcher in their midst. As Alice understands more about this hidden part of herself, we see our clever, curious, cautious protagonist become emboldened and brave, find her voice and be her own person as she gets ever closer to uncovering the people behind the dark deeds happening in her new home.
As with any boarding school worth it’s salt, this one too has food that will have you craving sweet treats as you read. Stock up on cake and hot chocolate before you dive in.
Great for fans of:
- Libby And The Parisian Puzzle by Jo Clarke
- Opie Jones Talks To Animals by Nat Luurtsema
- A Kind Of Spark by Elle McNichol
About The Author
Emily has loved books for as long as she can remember.
As a small child, she enjoyed visiting the library and borrowing as many books as she possibly could. She remembers spending many happy hours reading before school in her mum’s old Volvo Estate!
She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at university before completing her PGCE and MA in Children’s Literature. Emily enjoys inspiring a love for all things bookish in her role as a secondary English teacher and in her spare time, Emily enjoys painting and reading the neverending pile of books in her TBR pile!
Emily lives with her family, her beloved cats and a trio of grumpy rabbits and likes spending time in her garden. She writes stories about children who don’t quite fit in and who have incredible adventures.
Catch Emily on Twitter @Emilie_London, and over at her website.
Huge thanks to Rock The Boat for sending me an early proof copy.