By Author / Illustrator
Katya Balen, Rachael Dean
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Paperback / softback
The mudlarkers of the Thames and Tide Club are about to face Squidmageddon in a funny and fast-paced adventure for young treasure hunters. When the director of the mudlarking museum goes on holiday for a week, he leaves three members of the Thames and Tide Club - Clem, Zara and Ash - in charge. They're determined that nothing will go wrong on their watch, but they haven't planned on an invasion of squid who will stop at nothing to take over the world ... Join the club and dig for treasure in the wildest adventure you could imagine!
Clem, Ash and Zara are mudlarkers and are members of the Thames and Tide Club. They meet at the mudlarking museum, where they have been made Guardians. They have magic keys which give them access to the museums' many boxes, chests and cabinets so that they can look after everything. When Oswald, the director of the museum, goes on holiday for a week, the three children are left in charge - what could possibly go wrong?
While mudlarking on the banks of the Thames, they witness the beginning of an invasion of slimy squid, who seem determined to gain entry into the museum. Before long, there are thousands of the creatures, and Clem, Ash and Zara have to work out just how to stop them from taking over the world!
The Thames and Tide Club: Squid Invasion is a brilliant book, so cleverly written and so funny! Clem, Ash and Zara revisit the Undercity of London to try and find out just what is going on, and we are reintroduced to Barbara the Porpoise Queen, who tells them that the squid are looking for an inkubator which is kept in the mudlarking museum. Cue a mad dash back to the museum, where they learn exactly why the creatures are so desperate to find the inkubator...
The mudlarking characters are lovely, each with their own special skill. Clem is clever and quick-thinking. Zara loves to read and learn - she researches squid and uses her knowledge to help to bring them under control. How can you not love a character who smells the books she reads? Ash is silly and quirky, but his ability to blow enormous bubble gum bubbles proves to be vital to their plans. The children pool their resources to bring the story to a satisfying conclusion.
As we follow this fast-paced and exciting story, the author also incorporates a great deal of information about the squid species, giving a deeper level to the book All in all, a wonderful book. So much is packed in to a relatively short story, but not a single word is wasted. The illustrations by Rachel Dean perfectly complement the text, making this the complete package. Squid Invasion is a great addition to The Thames and Tide Club series - I can't wait to find out what adventure awaits the Thames and Tide Club in the next instalment!
160 pages / Reviewed by Beverley Somerset, school librarian
Suggested Reading Age 7+