Friday, April 9, 2010

Vanderwal, A. H. The Battle for Duncragglin

Vanderwal, Andrew H. The Battle for Duncragglin
Tundra Books 2009 310p 19.95 978-0-88776-886-6 ms/jr The ruins of Duncragglin Castle are rumored to be haunted and Alex thinks the labyrinth of caves underground may have something to do with the disappearance of his parents. In the caves, he and his three friends are transported to the late thirteenth century, the time of William Wallace. His parents having mysteriously disappeared, twelve year old Alex is sent to live with an aunt in Scotland. Due to an illness of the aunt, unexpectedly, he ends up staying with a local family near the ruins of Duncragglin castle. Believing that the labyrinth of caves under the ruins may hold the secret to several mysterious disappearances including Alex’s own parents and the friends’ mother, Alex and friends begin to explore the caves. Quite quickly they are transported to the time of William Wallace. This is the bloody, late thirteenth century. The youths meet the key players of that time. There are battles, captures, escapes and adventures. The characters of the young protagonists are well developed with a nice complement of younger and older, boys and girls, and adventurous and shy. Every reader can find attributes of themselves in one or more of the characters. Fast paced, it is a can’t put it down read. Theal, Joan

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