Owl and the Lost Boy – Blog Tour

In 2017 Amy Wilson published her debut middle grade title A Girl Called Owl which told readers of the magical world in which Jack Frost dwells, and vividly brought it to life with beautiful detailings of Jack Frost conjuring amazing icy masterpieces in the early mornings frosty atmosphere or playing with the North Wind. It was here we first learnt of Owl, a young girl searching for answers to discover her heritage, and understand why she was experiencing strange ice based phenomenon of her own.

As we return to Owl in the stunning sequel Owl and the Lost Boy – which publishes later this week (15th October) – we find her suffering a lengthy summer with high temperatures showing no signs of ending. The certainty that autumn will take over as the rightful ruling season dwindles within Owl as she faces each scorching day prefering temperatures at the other end of the thermometer, and it soon becomes apparent that autumns delay is linked to her friend Alberic (son to the Earl of Autumn) having gone missing.

The magical world is the one place Owl knows will hold the answers she seeks, but getting there is not so easy a second time around, with those that live there determined to deny her access. But Owl is both strong willed and determined, and perseveres in trying to uncover what has happened to her dear friend Alberic, and how summer has managed to maintain such a lengthy grasp.

Thankfully Owl has best friend Mallory for support (having reconciled after a fall out) as the pair work well together, giving each other encouragement and strength along what will definitely prove to be an adventure of a lifetime for the duo. When they finally manage to force their way into the world of magic and investigate the once beautiful court that each season would rule for their allocated time scale they find it barely recognisable, scorched and dying just like nature in the human world. The pair must follow the clues they uncover along the way if they are to return the seasons back to normal, but making powerful enemies in the magical world makes this all the more challenging.

As Owl and Mallory travel to different realms to either unite with or stand up to powerful characters from the world of magic it occurs to Owl more than once that Jack Frost would balance the odds in her favour, but he is nowhere to be seen. Feeling guilty for putting her needs before those of her loyal friends, and certain that Jack has abandoned her, Owl comes to realise that even the smallest actions can have far reaching consequences, and that even those done with the best intentions do not always end that way.

Armed with this realisation Owl sets about trying to put things right, and be there for the friends that she feels she previously let down. This loyalty in her is highly commendable, and one of the reasons we have come to love her character so much in both books, as her heart is always in the right place, and as such she makes the perfect role model for readers – especially as she does get things wrong but learns from it, isn’t afraid to ask for help, and comes out of those situations even stronger through learning how best to approach them next time.

Other prominent characters that feature in the book are those that Owl faces along her journey to finding her friend Alberic such as Father Time. I adored the scene in A Girl Called Owl where Jack Frost and the North Wind are taunting each other, and having a wail of a time in the process. The scene is full of magic, coming to life in your imagination whilst you believe it possible, and giving frosty mornings an air of excitement as you anticipate the antics that occured only hours prior. When Owl meets Father Time in this incredible sequel readers will find themselves imagining the infinite possibilities relating to manipulating time, and once again adoring the idea of that this character could exist.

To recall characters and specific scenes from books years after reading them speaks volumes as to the incredible talent of the author, and the depth of the stories they write. In this case Amy Wilson introduced middle grade readers to Owl, Jack and Alberic in 2017 – and they have lived in the hearts of readers ever since. When I met Amy at the FCBG conference last year I asked her whether she would ever write a sequel to any of her incredible stories, and to be writing this review as part of the blog tour feels incredible as it means I will soon be able to recommend and offer this latest read to students in my library, and children in my life.

Be sure to check out my Q&A with Amy on the FCBG website (for which I am website coordinator) as part of today’s blog tour stops. I began my journey as a book reviewer through being allocated Amy’s book Snowglobe to review for a magazine, and have since become a blogger, website coordinator, local book group committee member and FCBG exec committee member. That one book had me hooked into the world of middle grade, and made me an instant fan of Amy’s work, inspiring me to become the blogger I am today. I didn’t think to ask Amy whether Owl’s story will conclude as a trilogy – maybe you guys can make your own conclusions on that as you enjoy this book.

The covers for Amy’s books are utterly stunning, with the new design of covers A Girl Called Owl and Owl and the Lost Boy illustrated by Helen Crawford-White. If you haven’t yet got the entire selection below in your class reading corner, school library, or bookcase at home then I highly recommend them for any and all of those purposes. Fans of magic and adventure won’t want to put these books down. To pick a favourite would be impossible, to refer to Amy as one of my all time favourite children’s authors is second nature.

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