My daughter Hazel is an avid reader. She loves action books and sci-fi and fantasy. She enjoyed Alex Ryder and David Baddiel. She devoured both Helen Moss series. But most of the ‘Christian’ books I’ve suggested have been given a paltry five out of ten (she is a harsh critic!). For her, the action has to start on page one. Enid Blyton books start too slowly and none of the classics get going quickly enough…

She ran out of options in the kids’ section of the library and the young adult choices are well, inappropriate (in both my opinion and hers…). She reads several years ahead of her age but that doesn’t mean she’s ready for the topics in that age range. (I recall a similar issue when I wanted to read Judy Blume at age ten…)

So I was hesitant to spend money (and postage) on a series of books I thought she would like…but I took the risk and bought the three part series along with the audio version. And they were worth every penny! From page one there are cliff-hangers and emotions, twists and turns. I quite quickly recognised parallels to Harry Potter – a school accessed through magical means, dark forces at work, cruel guardians and the discovery of friends for life. My daughter however didn’t spot this (possibly because she’s only seen and hadn’t read Potter) but rather exclaimed halfway through the second book: “This is like the Bible!”

Reading the second or third book without the first would probably raise questions but you could read the first as a standalone (although if your child knows there are more in the series you’ll be begged to order them…) and while the authors haven’t written any more children’s books I’m following them in case that changes!