The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
Oksa Pollock: The Last Hope
Publisher: Pushkin Children's Books
Thirteen-year-old Oksa Pollock is starting an exciting new life in England with her parents and grandmother Dragomira. She's nervous about starting a new school, but at least her loyal best friend Gus will be at her side - he has moved to London too, because his father and Oksa's are joining forces to open a French restaurant together. But soon after arriving in London, events begin to take a strange turn. Oksa discovers she has strange new powers: all of a sudden, she can shoot fire from her hands, move object with her mind, and even fly - and a strange symbol has appeared on her stomach.
Oksa has always dreamed of becoming a ninja, but now she has real supernatural powers, she feels bewildered. Things become even mow confusing when Dragomira discovers what Oksa can do and tells her the truth about her secret birthright: the Pollock family are in fact exiles from an invisible magical realm, Edefia, which is hidden somewhere on earth - and Oksa herself holds the key to the last hope of them ever returning. As Oksa struggles to reconcile herself to her important destiny, and learns to master her powers, she must also deal with the challenges of school life - friends, bullies, and a very unpleasant maths teacher, the sinister. Dr McGraw.
The Oksa Pollock series has legions of fans all over the world, and this first installment leaves us in no doubt why. A thrilling magical adventure, with a wonderfully charismatic and inspiring heroine in the irrepressible Oksa, it is certain to capture young readers' imaginations. With plenty of colourful characters, strange creatures, mysterious supernatural powers and eccentric details, authors Anne Plichota and Cendrine Wolf have created an enormously appealing fantasy world. Comparisons with the Harry Potter books are inevitable - but far from being a pale imitation of J K Rowling's blockbuster, Oksa Pollock: The Last Hope has a unique flavour and style all of its own. Quirky and enchanting, this story will leave readers eager for the next installment of Oksa's adventures.