The Pawnshop of Stolen Dreams by Victoria Williamson

Helen (@helenbyles)

I’m a daydreamer and several times a day I get shouted out by a member of my family because they are talking to me but I’m off at a far away place.

I especially find this happens when I’m reading a really good book, I get so involved in the story I find myself actually part of the book, and no matter where I am I can’t hear the world around me.

 Also find myself thinking about that book and wondering about the characters while doing my everyday work.

So when I found out this book was about daydreams I knew this was for me.

The first thing that stood out for me was the wonderful eye-catching cover.

Then I read the blurb and I knew it was going to be something special.

In a strange little village called Witchetty Hollow, eleven-year-old Florizel is the first to run into the curious visitors who’ve come to open a brand-new Daydream Delicatessen and sack-baby factory. At first, the poor folk of the Hollow are delighted – after all, who has the money to rent a real child from Storkhouse Services these days? But soon the daydreams turn sour. The Delicatessen’s products are expensive, and villagers trading their worldly goods in the newly-opened Pawnshop begin to disappear. With no money for rent payments, the real children of Witchetty Hollow are being reclaimed by Storkhouse Services at an alarming rate. Can Florizel and sack-boy Burble stop the daydream thieves’ evil business before it’s too late to save the Hollow?

Firstly I loved the name of Witchetty Hollow and I knew it was somewhere where I’d like to visit, the characters were really interesting.Florizel was really interesting, she comes across as very lonely.

The concept of the story is people have to rent children, but the stupider the child the less rent the guardian has to pay for them, unfortunately Florizel is a very bright child and her guardian is very poor so Florizel has to pretend to be stupid at school so her guardian can afford to rent her. She finds this downgrading and because of this she has no friends. Burble is a sack boy who is so innocent and has a thirst for knowledge and definitely loves his food but he is definitely lonely too.. They form an unlikely friendship and they are the only two who reliase  what is going on.

The plot is brilliantly linked together and it is a little bit spooky and dark.But there are some lighthearted moments and a few laughs.

While I was reading this my family said I was sitting there with a smirk across my face so when I told them about this plot they were really interested and in fact the book has now disappeared into their bedroom.

But I have one unanswered question. I wonder how much rent I would have to pay for my children.

I wonder how much rent i would have to pay for my children!

Sam (@SamJDThomas)

When I picked up this book to start reading it I did so with the intention of reading the first few chapters. I ended up reading through to the very end! It started of setting the scene and telling of the characters and the concept in a slowly developing sort of way, and I appreciated being able to get my bearings so that I could continue deeper into the book with confusion, or having to re-read bits for clarification.

There is so much that happens within this spooky adventure, from the children that are collected and taken away if their families do not keep up with the rent of them, to the main character, Florizel, being bullied at school for failing exams, and many more aspects of life in the village of Witchetty Hollow. Then the arrival of new people to the village, who set up a delicatessen, a factory and a pawnshop, turns things incredibly strange very quickly.

I love that it is one outcasted child that sees through the charm of the new shop, and has little interest in foods that offer a daydream, but also Florizel is able to sense that danger in what is going on around her, and how evil the family behind the new businesses are. There are so many occasions when she is almost caught, but she manages to avoid capture through being calm in the face of danger and applying herself to the challenges she faces. Burble is an adorable bumbling sack child that arrived in the village early on in the book, and she makes for a fantastic sidekick for the level headed Florizel. By the end of the book you realise they may be made of different things but they dream the same. They both long to have security with their family, and not fearing being collected at some point and taken away.

I really enjoyed there being made important topics covered inside this one book, with greed, equality, and children’s rights being some of them, which are threaded together with friendship, loyalty, perseverance and daring to dream big – all packed inside this incredibly atmospheric read, which those who love a good scare will definitely enjoy!


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