The Book of Wondrous Possibilities
288pp., pbk., RRP $A16.99
Since his mother died in a hit-and-run accident, Arlo Goodman lives a quiet, solitary life with his Uncle Avery in a run-down flat above their bookshop. Solitary from choice, and home-schooled, he has no friends, except for his pet mouse, Herbert. However when a girl called Lisette bursts into the shop and begs him to hide her from a murderer, closely followed by the most terrifying man Arlo has ever encountered, his life changes forever.
For she has a parcel for him from his mother! She has sent him a grimoire – a book of magic spells and invocations, or one itself that is magic – and to his surprise, when he tentatively opens it, there is a story called The Courageous Journey of Arlo Goodman written by his mother!
And so begins the most amazing adventure in which Arlo discovers just how brave he really is as he tries to protect this rare book from falling into the hands of the wealthy but sinister business tycoon, Marcellus, who has set his brutal, scary Silas to get it no matter the cost.
It seems appropriate to start a new year with a book called The Book of Wondrous Possibilities, particularly one in which the main characters face demons, both external and internal, and discover their inner strengths and courage that enable them to not only survive but flourish. Abela has created characters that are relatable but added that touch of magic that takes the story above being an unlikely narrative of two kids facing danger that ordinary children wouldn’t, into the realm of “If Arlo could…” or “If Lisette can…” As many of our students face new challenges in this new year, this is one to offer them to give them that boost that they might need.
It was the perfect title to pop into the book pouch I made Miss 11 for Christmas as she starts Year 7 in a high school where she knows no one… I know she is looking forward to it as a year of wondrous possibilities.