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Midnight at Moonstone by Lara Flecker, illustrated by Trisha Krauss


For as long as twelve-year-old Kit can remember, she has been a complete and utter disappointment to her very clever and famous father, Sir Henry.


The only one who might have understood that she likes sewing and art, not maths and business like her older brother and sister, is Kit’s mother, but she died when Kit was only a baby. One day after a fight with her father pushes her to run away, she discovers Moonstone Manor, her mother’s childhood home. Kit is captivated by the rundown museum where delicately sewn Victorian dresses and Indian saris, with their gold threads, intricate laces and beautiful needlework, lie covered in dust. And it turns out there’s more to these costumes than meets the eye – as soon as the clock strikes midnight. Cue a nighttime world of spellbinding excitement where costumes come alive. When a local businessman arrives with his sights set on transforming the old building into a conference centre, it is up to Kit to save both the costumes and her new home. In the process, she must prove herself to her father, her brother and sister, and her grumpy grandfather.


This enchanting, wittingly written book has all the charms of a true children’s classic. There is adventure, excitement, mystery, a secret room, and just a wee bit of magic…


This is a book about following your heart, being brave, and fighting for what you believe in. Midnight at Moonstone plays host to a vast array of scintillating characters. From Lady Anne Hoops and the Japanese Kiko Kai to the swashbuckling Captain John and the timid Fenella, you will find yourself immersed in Kit’s spellbinding world.


What makes the book even more fascinating is that all the costumes are based on real life artefacts. First-time children’s author Lara Flecker is a costume expert at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and her knowledge of cloths, threads and textures lends this historical fantasy the magic it needs to really come alive. Readers ten years old and upwards, and even much older, will fall in love with Kit and Moonstone’s cast of entertaining characters. They will be delighted by the illustrations by Trisha Krauss which fit so perfectly with the text. Not only do her gorgeous, stylised drawings deck out a number of the pages, each page is bordered with a lace-like design.


Midnight at Moonstone is a treasure of a book. I couldn’t recommend it more highly.


Reviewer: Susannah Whaley

Oxford University Press

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