The Extraordinary Voyage of Katy Willacott

  • Written by Sharon Gosling
  • Cover designed by Pip Johnson
  • Cover illustrated by Kristina Kister
  • Published by Little Tiger
  • Perfect for readers aged 8+

Helen (@helenbyles) –

Sometimes you see a book cover you know you need to read it. Well this book is
one such book. The cover just hooks you in. You need to know why on the cover the
main character who obviously is a girl is dressed as a boy.
And of course you know the story is going to be just as good. You become desperate
to know what adventure you are going to be going on.
We meet Katy a young girl growing up in Kew Gardens where her mum works, you
quickly become aware that Katy wants more for herself, she wants adventure and
excitement. She is interested in science and the stars and she resents the fact that
her family only see her as a girl who must follow in her mums footsteps.
Even her best friend doesn’t understand her.
So when she meets journalist Fran she finds out about some extraordinary women –
real women in history.
After being told this Katy knows what she needs to do.
I’m not going to spoil the plot but it involves dressing as a boy, a boat and Brazil.
This is truly a wonderful story about girl empowerment and following your dreams.

Sam (@SamJDThomas) –

When it comes to writing a review for my blog I find I am often tongue-tied when it comes to doing justice to those books that I devoured, through their content being everything I could have wanted in a book, and all that I know the intended reader will get from it too. I am delighted to have this opportunity as part of this blog tour to share my insight as a reader of The Extraordinary Voyage of Katy Willacott, and will be recommending this title to children and adults alike going forward. This is truly one of those must read publications of 2022, and I hope reading our reviews inspires you to go get yourselves a copy for your homes, classrooms, and libraries – because it does not disappoint.

At the centre of the story is a young girl, Katy, who has a keen interest is seeing more of the world, and achieving great scientific discoveries like her role models. Through shadowing her mother as a Botanist at Kew Gardens and learning some of her dad’s skills as an Archaeologist for the British Museum it is safe to say Katy has an incredible skill set under her belt to see her dreams become a reality one day. Katy is also very passionate about the night sky, so when Katy learns of an upcoming expedition to Brazil to look for meteorites she sets a plan into motion to ensure she is part of those embarking on this adventure of a lifetime.

In order to gain voyage Katy must disguise herself as a boy, because girls are not openly welcomed in the world of science and expeditions during the time period in which this story is set. Girls aren’t even permitted to wear trousers! Katy is undeterred by this societal setback, and her determination to achieve her dreams whilst facing so many challenges along the way makes her an inspiration to the books intended readers. Threaded throughout Katy’s extraordinary voyage are the issues of gender and class, and it gives readers an insight into what life was like then, and how much society has changed to now.

The ocean fascinates Katy as she sails aboard the Alerte, and she soon settles into her assumed role as cabin boy, undertaking all of the arduous tasks with the determination we come to love her character for, because she achieves incredible tasks that even the other male members of the crew, that she has come to see as friends, found impossible to undertake. Katy is strong in her accomplishments, and unfaltering in the face of dangerous ocean that she is crossing.

Once Katy arrives in Brazil it is through making friends with two native children there that she starts to become aware of the impact deforestation is having on both the animals that live amongst the rainforest, and the indigenous people that call their villages amongst the vast lands there home. It is heart breaking content, but it is just as relevant to us today with the conservation efforts ongoing across the globe, as well as the need to reverse the effects of climate change. The next generation need to learn to respect the environment and everything we are fortunate to have on earth, and the Brazilian aspect to Katy’s adventure shines a light on these topics, with more of an explanation to follow when Katy arrives back home.

Katy sets off with the intention of discovering a meteorite but what she uncovers and experiences has far more value to her then any singular item could, and changes her views of the world for the better. Unbeknown to her at the time she does also bring home something very special, as well as a very special animal friend that has protected her as a companion from the moment she arrives in Brazil. It makes for even more incredible content on the voyage home! The encounters that Katy has from the moment she runs away from home in search of her very ‘extraordinary women, doing extraordinary things’ experience are cultural, rich, and so incredibly rewarding, and make for an unforgettable adventure for readers who accompany Katy, and the many friends she makes along the way, across the vast oceans and lands that she explores.

Be sure to check out all of the previous stops on this blog tour via the tour banner below for more reviews and insight into this fantastic new release which would be the perfect summer read for children aged 8+.

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