Denis Knight and Cristy Burne, Wednesday Weeks and the Tower of Shadows (Book #1), Lothian Children’s Books, April 2021, 256 pp., RRP $16.99 (pbk), ISBN 9780734420190
Wednesday Weeks never wanted to be a sorcerer’s apprentice. She loves science, not magic. But when a power-hungry goblin king captures her master, the Protector of the Realms – also her grandfather – Wednesday must embrace her magical potential to save him.
Wednesday Weeks and the Tower of Shadows is the first in a new series by Denis Knight and Cristy Burne. It is an utterly fantastical story – the Alice in Wonderland for modern readers. This Alice, however, is not about to follow the path laid out for her; she’s going to go her own way! On an epic journey through other realms, Wednesday and her best friend Alfie battle pink slugs, giant laundry monsters and faery soldiers with the courage and determination of true literary heroes.
Denis Knight and Cristy Burne are co-writers of the book, each coming from a background in science and technology. They used their respective backgrounds to enrich the book with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) principles, putting Wednesday through trials in each realm she visits so that she must use STEM principles to get herself out of trouble. Whether readers realise it or not, they are learning the concepts of STEM as they read. To further educate young readers, they have created fun activities for kids to try either in the classroom or at home – an excellent accompaniment to the book.
Wednesday Weeks and the Tower of Shadows is an innovative book for middle-grade readers. If they (or you!) enjoyed Artemis Fowl or The Witching Hours, Wednesday’s adventures should be next on their (and your) reading list.
Reviewed by Geni Kuckhahn