Fleur Hitchcock’s Clifftoppers Series Concludes with Sensational Finale

In April of 2019 the first in a new series of books for middle grade readers written by Fleur Hitchcock was published. The Arrowhead Moor Adventure introduces readers to cousins Aiden, Chloe, Ava and Josh, who find themselves in the middle of the most incredible of adventures whilst staying with their grandparents, amongst stunning countryside beside the coast.

The Arrowhead Moor Adventure sees the four investigate jewellery theft in the area, determining suspects and looking to ensure that those responsible are caught. My review of this first book in the Clifftoppers series can be found here.

Following on five months later, The Fire Bay Adventure was published, taking us back to the world of the four cousins at their grandparents, and once again in the thick of things, with canine companion Bella too. Whilst everyone is getting ready for the Autumn Fire Festival, and excitement is building in the air, it occurs to the children that the fires occurring throughout the town are no accident, and they set about investigating to determine the cause and any responsible culprits. I featured this title in my selection of must have titles in September 2019, which you can find here.

In April of this year I had the privilege of interviewing Fleur here on my blog, keen to help promote these incredible books, and help reach the children that will undoubtedly cherish them long after finishing reading them. In the interview Fleur talks about the books influences via the editorial team, the book cover designs, the locations that inspired the idyllic setting within the books, and so much more. It was a real pleasure to interview Fleur for my blog, and an experience I will cherish. You can read A Clifftoppers Conversation here.

This interview coincided with the publication of book three in the series, The Thorn Island Adventure. The children reunite at their grandparents once again, and before long find themselves looking to uncover a mystery they set upon whilst out sailing in their grandad’s boat – yet another incredible adventure for middle grade readers to immerse themselves in. Chloe spots the face of someone at one of the windows within a tower on the nearby Thorn Island, and after hearing stories about the child of a wealthy businessman having been kidnapped decides that they should investigate the local area, particularly on the nearby island. My review for this unforgettable installment within the series can be found here.

As I write this overview of the Clifftopper series I cannot believe the fourth, and final title The Frost Castle Adventure has published, and that this beautifully written, stunningly set world of Clifftoppers has concluded. Readers will warm to the children that are central to the entire series, finding them relatable as well as relevant. With Aiden, Chloe, Josh and Ava all being different ages and ethnicities there is the potential for readers to recognise themselves within the mysteries and adventures that await them within these books, and the balance of male and female lead characters teaches children the importance of equality, and with the female characters having more involved roles such as Chloe being trusted to sail their grandad’s boat these books will not only inspire boys and girls alike, but ensure that peer recommendation has no limits too.

The Frost Castle Adventure reunites readers with Aiden, Chloe, Josh and Ava in stunning wintery surroundings as they go back to their grandparents just after christmas, ready to enjoy sledging, snow, and plenty of hot chocolate. The four cousins find themselves thrust into a brand new adventure when a car comes crashing towards them, driven by a lady that believes she is cursed! The children become curious, and find themselves looking to solve quite the mystery after getting roped into helping with a local production taking place at Thorn Castle, which is rumoured to be haunted too.

The story is brilliantly written as it keeps the reader guessing as to who is behind the antics taking place, and the assumptions that readers make are often thwarted as the plot thickens, with details pointing to the various characters that are taking part in the production, so whilst the book is not lengthy in pages you can be sure it is brim full of depth, deception, and detail. Each of the titles in the Clifftoppers series can be read as a standalone story, but the beauty of reading the four titles is the characters building within the readers imaginations, the relationships you build with the four children, the reader feeling a comfortable familiar aspect to the location of the adventures the children have, and that rewarding feeling in not only having read the entire series but also in being able to pick up the next book in the series. The series offers readers continuity as a whole, and has bookshelf appeal through not being a large, often off putting size with beautifully illustrated cover designs that catch and capture your attention.

As the series wraps up with The Frost Castle Adventure there is a sense of contentment, as we leave the children and their grandparents enjoying hot chocolate and sledging, and with the satisfaction in good prevailing, and the adventure that readers have accompanied them on reaching a worthy conclusion. This book, like the others in the series, immerses the reader within scenes and locations they will be able to recognise by relating them to those they are familiar with, and with characters that promote positive behaviour and good morales, which are always worthy of referencing to the next generation – and what better way then through these brilliant masterpieces.

I often think it is only really after finishing a book, and giving the content time to play through in our thoughts as we go about our day that you can tell whether a book (or in this case a series) is worthy of sharing with others, recommending (and of course reviewing!), and reading again, and the Clifftoppers titles have always left me thinking about the characters and plot long after I have finished reading, as well as giving me an incredible desire to share and recommend them far and wide – to my children at home, my colleagues for class reads, fellow librarians for them to stock, and of course parents looking for quality content to encourage their children to read for pleasure. I will enjoy reading these books countless times over, and have a heavy heart knowing there will be no additional Clifftopper titles to await in the future – although the ending to The Frost Castle Adventure does leave room for more, and I for one hope to return to Aiden, Chloe, Josh and Ava some day…

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