Sylvia Bishop: The Midnight Thief (Scholastic 2021)

It all started with a bat. With a completely ordinary bat that ended up changing everything. Even the bat itself did not know that it would be the initiator of the events.

Freya Robinson is a student at a prestigious boarding school. She doesn’t like it because she doesn’t find it interesting enough. She preferred to live with her archaeologist father, but when he found all seven legendary Eldrida Dragons, the statues featured in Anglo-Saxon legends, he decided that his daughter would receive a proper education. Freya is disliked by both the headmistress and her classmates at school. Her situation is not too rosy, as breaking the rules is part of her everyday life. However, that bat changes everything. Or maybe the Dragons are responsible for this turn of the story?

I really like books set in a boarding school. This was a particularly beautiful story. I just found it very nice at first. There was also a bit of investigation involved. But in the end I really liked it. It also turns out that there really are many miracles in the world, but we don’t even notice them. Between the chapters, we find small entries about animals that invisibly accompany us throughout our lives and don’t even understand what sometimes people are up to.

Sylvia Bishop studied political science and then did social science research, but at university she encountered the genre of improvisational cabaret, which allowed her to invent stories. She also uses her ability to improvise while writing her books. Her first book, Erica’s Elephant, was published in 2006. Since then, she has written eight more books for young readers and her stories have been published in 16 languages. In Hungarian The Secret of the Night Train and A Sea of Stories, a richly illustrated book were published.