Emily Kenny: The Extraordinary Adventures of Alice Tonks (Rock the Boat 2022)
Alice Tonks was used to not being like the others. First of all, she is autistic, so there are things she reacts to differently than other children. Her parents died when she was a baby, she doesn’t even remember them. Other children think this means she is an orphan, but she doesn’t feel like one because she lives with her grandmother, who loves her very much. At the age of 11, her grandmother enrolled her in the famous Pebblewood boarding school, where she and Alice’s mother used to study. Since Alice has always had a hard time connecting with others, she now fears that she won’t be able to make friends. However, Pebblewood is different. On the very first day, a seagull speaks to her and asks for her help. Until now, Alice had no idea that she understood the language of animals. However, she cannot help them alone, but fortunately not only the animals, but also some children got to like Alice, so the little girl can finally count on her friends.
The main point of the story is that even if we are not exactly like others, we are not weird, we are just different and that is not a bad thing. I really liked the description of the boarding school and the characters were also very lovely. I personally like it when during an investigation I can’t figure out who the villain was and here I didn’t know, so I was also very satisfied with the mystery part. Now, I am curious about the author’s next book.
Emily Kenny, like Alice, is autistic. She studied English literature and creative writing at university, currently works as an English teacher in London and is a coordinator for children with special educational needs. Besides writing, reading was always her great passion and she spent many happy hours reading in the library or in her mother’s car.
The book’s illustrations were created by my favorite illustrator, the talented Flavia Sorrentino. You can also read a mini-interview with her, which happened earlier this year on BogiWrites.
If you want to know more about the author, visit his website: https://emilykenny.co.uk/