This review appeared in Buzzwords, an online magazine aimed at writers, illustrators, librarians and anyone else interested in that is presently being written for middle grade readers.
Release date – January 2014
Neptunia by Goldie Alexander (Five Senses Publication)
PB RRP $16.95
ISBN 97891741308716 Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis
Cassie is a strong swimmer capable of competing in the State Championships. But her parents’ break-up puts a stop to her dream of going to Norris Park College with its outstanding sports facilities and pool. Cassie and her little brother Timmy are sent to Ithaca, a country town with no pool, to stay with distant relatives till the storm passes.
The children find a metal box in an abandoned silo. It is one of many things stolen from Iris Laertes, a world champion swimmer who lives on the property Neptunia. The box is ‘a magic entry into a mythical land’. Cassie is swept into the greatest adventure and challenge of her life; to swim to the mythical Neptunia with a message of an environmental disaster that could destroy its many species of marine life.
The story loosely incorporates myths and legends attached to Homer’s Odyssey while weaving environmental issues into the magical fabric of the story. The many themes contained in this well crafted and imaginative story include overcoming obstacles through strategy, strength and spirit; self belief, and courage and triumph over difficulties.