Start your new year on the right track with The Train to Impossible Places
By Helen Swinyard
The Train to Impossible Places arrived in shops last October and it promises to be a great book series from debut author PG Bell
The Cursed Delivery, book one of the new series, is a riotous romp through a bizarre imaginary land, seen (usually) through the eyes of Suzy, a girl who wakes up in the middle of the night to find someone building a train track in her hallway.
Luckily Suzy seems to be a gutsy, clever, physics-loving heroine, who manages to boss her way not only onto the train itself but into a huge adventure too. For readers who already love Matilda or Hermione; Suzy is another welcome addition.
The story is a successful combination of many well-known stories, all swirled together- avid readers will recognise aspects of Doctor Who, the Frog Prince, Sleeping Beauty and others.
The author is a librarian and he couldn’t help but include a library scene with a nod to the importance of correct shelving– a little bit of insider knowledge that adds extra authenticity in the midst of fantastical goings-on.
There’s a lot going on in this story – you always know exactly what’s happening, but not always why. There are short, sharp chapters with cliffhangers which make it a great choice for bedtime reading with an adult or an independent middle grade/ teenage reader more used to shorter books.
The opening is also punchy, so it’s a good one for reluctant readers or those that cry “I’m bored,” without really wanting to give time to get into a slower book.
Book aficionado, Nicolette Jones included The Train to Im- possible Places: The Cursed Delivery, in her Sunday Times top books of 2018, and it’s already been nominated for the 2019 Made for Mums Awards!