Book Review:
The Twistrose Key

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The Twistrose Key
By Tone Almhjell
Illustrated by Ian Schoenherr
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, hardcover, $13.50, 10+

Welcome to Sylver, a winter wonderland where animals exist in the afterlife.
The award-winning novel starts with 11-year-old Lin mourning the
loss of her beloved pet vole, Rufus. A series of events soon led her
to discover the frozen realm hidden behind the cellar door,
and Lin was once again reunited with Rufus. However, the world
is on the brink of destruction, and it is up to Lin and Rufus to find Isvan,
the missing boy with the power to save the land. This magical tale will leave
children spellbound with the importance of love and friendship.

Use the book:

• Talk about feelings of longing to reverse the loss of a pet
• Explain the importance of taking care of a pet and moving on when it’s gone
• Plan the next vacation together to a place with snow like Sylver

Author Talk: Tone Almhjell

Why children’s books?

I was an avid reader as a child. Besides, if you read the
right book at the right age, you’ll fall in love and carry that
book with you forever, or even better: You’ll be a reader for life.
Children’s books unlock thousands of worlds. It’s magical and
incredibly important so I try my best to do the task justice.

How about The Twistrose Key in particular?

It was the death of my sweet, beloved gerbil. That Christmas,
I decided to make an advent calendar for my sister. The story grew
from there into the dark, tangled fantasy that is The Twistrose Key.

How important do you think kids need to
enjoy reading in this digital age?

The digital age can feel too fractured and impatient, as if no one
has the time to sit down and read a book anymore. As for storytelling,
I don’t think we’re lost. Children need stories because people need stories.
We need them for empathy, for learning, and for hope.

How do you encourage your kids to read?

For storytime, both my five-year-old boy and two-year-old girl will
pick a book each and I’ll add in a third that is new or unexpected.
Sometimes I choose chapter books, even if they seem too
complicated for my youngest. She may not be able to follow
the storylines, but she likes listening to my voice,
and loves being included.

What do you hope your audience can get out of this book?

Adventure! Hope! Thrills! Comfort, even, for anyone who has
ever loved and lost an animal.

Care to share with us your best parenting advice?

I think no two children are alike, and that
most parents really try their best.
My advice is: Listen, both to yourself and to your kids.
And then you find your own way.


Win an exclusive signed copy by author Tone Almhjell!

Fill in the form here by 31st March 2015. Good luck!