Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Wind Tamer

Wind Tamer

For ages 8 to 12
Bloomsbury, 2006   ISBN: 978-1582347813

On the night before Archie Stringweed’s tenth birthday strange things start to happen. The wind seems to be speaking to him telling him that “He’s coming. He’s coming.” Then there is the strange little ball of green light which comes into his room. What is it, and what does it want?

The next morning a parcel arrives for Archie from his uncle Rufus. Every year for as long as Archie can remember his uncle has sent him something for his birthday and every year his parents take the gift away from him. This year Archie won’t let them disappear the present. This year he opens the parcel for himself and he insists on keeping the golden coin that his uncle gave him.

Things start to get more and more peculiar as the day wears on. When Archie and his best friends are looking at his birthday gifts in Archie’s room a goose taps on the window asking to be let in. It is carrying a small pouch and in it Archie finds yet another gold coin. Then, to cap it all, his Uncle Rufus arrives in the middle of the night.

It is only now that Archie learns about the family curse, a curse which takes away the courage of every first born Stringweed boy on or around his tenth birthday. Unlike his parents, Uncle Rufus believes is talking about the curse and he is also determined to do all he can to help Archie break the curse once and for all. All Archie is going to have to do is to confront an enormous tornado which is heading his way in just a few days. Frantically Archie and Uncle Rufus scramble to get ready for the coming event. Archie is terrified but he wants very much to free not only himself but also his father and grandfather from the curse which has blighted their lives for so many years.

Young readers will find this very unique book to be inspiring and thought provoking. Beautifully told and crafted, it is a tale which shows young people how important it is to stand up for what you believe in. It may be necessary to take risks to do this but in the end it is always worth it for if you don’t try, you will always wonder what might have happened if you had.

Sympathetic characters, plenty of magic, and a fascinating setting make this book wonderful read.