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Saturday 15 December 2012

House on Bo-Kay Lane by Greta Burroughs


This is the sequel to Gerald and the Wee People, a story about Gerald and his friend, Vernon's, adventure in an imagined-cum-real village. During their time on their ‘adventure’ they make good 'wee' friends and wonder, when they return to reality, if they will ever see them again. 

And so House on Bo-Kay Lane marks a second adventure for Gerald and Vernon, when a derelict house near to where they live provides the stage for some strange occurrences. Surely it isn’t their ‘wee’ friends they can see in the windows? Hard to resist their curiosity, they of course investigate. A very special mirror and the telepathic skills of their wee friends draw Gerald and co back into the wee people’s world. Their delight in reuniting with their old friends is peppered with a not-so-favourable welcome from the more suspicious members of the wee village, but what’s more, the discovery that the mirror is a portal between Gerald’s and the wee people’s worlds provides not only a glimpse into the future, but answers to some questions of the latter’s origins. 

My apprehension that I would be disadvantaged by not having read the first book was soon allayed. Greta skilfully incorporates explanatory snippets along the way, so that the characters settle comfortably in your mind. I haven’t read many YA books (not by design, it just doesn’t seem to have happened that way!), and this was very enjoyable. The sharp contrast of the wee people’s world to Gerald and Vernon’s electronic one is sometimes comically portrayed…have you ever tried explaining what yogurt is to someone who doesn’t know? And amidst solutions and answers that have to be found (who is that man in the mirror?), there is quaint diversion in the form of young (puppy?) love between Vernon and Alysson. 

Entertaining, imaginative, well written, and lots of fun.

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