Welcome to Day Three of the Blog Tour for


June 19 – Always in the Middle – Review

When Oona Britt was born in the magical town of Nordlor, where all of the homes 9780525515241are built from wrecked ships, her parents never expected her to be a girl. Having listened to a faulty prediction from a washed-up soothsayer, they were promised a “bold and brave son,” so as the youngest of seven sisters, Oona’s birth became a disappointment — especially to her sea captain father, who doesn’t believe there’s a place for girls aboard ships.

But Oona is different from the rest of her family. She longs for adventure and knowledge. So she steals aboard her father’s ship just as he’s about to set sail for his annual winter whale hunt, and suddenly finds herself in the midst of a grand adventure! The ship has its own sea cat, Barnacles, and a navigator named Haroyld, who show Oona how to follow the stars. But for all that, Oona’s father is furious. Can she prove to him that she’s worth his love and pride, even though she’s not the bold and brave son he was promised?

MY THOUGHTS: A story about family and being who you want to be gets a touch of magical realism. The tale tugs on the heart strings throughout. The third person narration stays close to Oona, the disgraced seventh sister, straying occasionally to the future teller who had a big part in causing the whole mess. There are also brief looks into what is happening with the mother and six sisters who are traveling south to find a prince the girls can take in marriage (be careful what you wish for!).

Oona has the chance to show her bravery on the high seas to a father who despises her presence. He could be the poster dad for how not to act as a parent. The mythical beast nardoo along with the ship’s navigator show what compassion and caring is all about.

Drawings adorn the border of every page and several full page whimsical scenes also appear. They add to the story’s fairy tale feel. So too does Barnacles the sea cat, who has a rather nasty disposition given she is on the last of her nine lives. Be prepared for a nice character arc with this sneaky feline.

Your time will be well spent either reading or listening to a read aloud of this adventure. You’ll find what is most important in our world is kindness. Something we don’t have enough of these days.di48R8RLT

For more about Australian author Matilda Woods check out her web site.

I received an ARC from the publisher for my honest review.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews, New Release and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Susan Uhlig says:

    Going on my TBR list. 🙂

  2. Sounds like a winner. I will look for it. Thanks for your review.

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