The Book That Made Me: David Almond 20/03/19
The Company of Eight
When Cass loses her chance to audition as an acrobat on the famous Circus Boat, she comes up with a plan to visit the mysterious Island of Women. Soon, she has a job on the Palace Boat, following the circus around the islands.
Yet Cass has been invited on the boat for a very different reason – and it's not long before she finds herself in the midst of thieves, pirates, sword fighters and a mysterious group of women called The Company of Eight...
This book is a total rollercoaster ride that will catch your breath as gutsy Cass weaves in and out of peril. The emphasis is on adventure rather than magic and the story is less about world-building than ramping up thrills. There's also a timeless and placeless appeal – a touch of exotic, a little bit Victoriana/steampunk. It's a yarn for children who dream of exciting, action-packed days where they can save the day. After all, who doesn't want swashbuckling fun and women warriors with the hearts of lions?
It helps that Cass is a really engaging heroine, ever-ready to roll up her sleeves and get stuck into the action. She's honest and loyal and very brave. We think children will love her.