|Martha and Mitch by Helen Laycock
Martha Mugsworthy-Millions is a daughter of a toymaker millionaire.
She has almost everything a young girl could desire and even more.
She has a beautifully designed room, a library full of great books,
a magnificent garden and a playroom with all the latest inventions
of her father’s factory. But she also has a vicious stepmother,
an absent father, and absolutely no friends.Mitch has nothing. Well, almost nothing. He has a striped jumper
that was knitted especially for him by Miss Scattypants, the owner
of the orphanage where he lives until a “bed bug” forces him to leave.
As the title of this fine book suggests, those two are destined to meet.
This meet will change their lives, obviously, but it would also change the
lives of all the other characters portrayed in this lovely story.
There is a certain Dickensian feel that rides along this book;
you can see it in the motives like the poor orphans but also in the
plot which is full of twists and turns like a rollercoaster.
The book is packed with beautiful descriptions of the most
amazing things, like Martha’s round room.
Imagination and originality are flowing from every page.
However, the book fails to achieve this feels, in my opinion,
because there are too many “telling” instead of “showing”.
There are certain chapters that feel like a sketch or a synopsis
instead of a fully developed plot. This book would benefit from
further development. Of course, a Middle-Grade book has its
word-count limits, but there is enough material in here to make a nice page turner trilogy.