Book Review – Hyacinth and the Secrets Beneath by Jacob Sager Weinstein

Hyacinth and the Secrets BeneathBy Awnali Mills
Hyacinth just wants to wash her hands in warm water. But when she mixes the hot and cold water from the tap, everything falls apart. Her mother is kidnapped by mud men, and the cross neighbor from downstairs gives her a whirlwind education in the magical rivers of London, and a breakneck tour of the sewers. Along the way she meets an amnesiac boy, a bathing suit wearing pig, a nasty unicorn, and a tosher with very nice abs. Among others. It’s a crazy ride with a wry narrator who just wants to rescue her mother and figure out who to trust. But can she do it without starting another Great Fire of London?
Wow. This book was like Alice in Wonderland taking place in the sewers. Bizarre characters, nonsensical dialogs, crazy situations—it was a wild ride. There were a couple of things that I really liked. I enjoyed Hyacinth’s voice. She’s a bit smart alecky, and that makes me smile. I also liked the tour of London sewers—yes, that’s weird. But as the author said, there was less made up than you might think. He provides pictures of some of the places that he uses as settings, which was fascinating. I knew some of the history of the London sewers, but it was fun to have a magical tour. I would recommend this for fantasy lovers who enjoy fast paced novels and strong heroines. Recommended for grades 4-6.

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