Title: Bernice Takes a Plunge
Author: Ann Harth
Synopsis: Bernice Peppercorn’s imagination fills her mind and her notebooks with adventure and intrigue. She sees crimes where there are none and races to the local police station daily to fulfil her civic duty.
When a real robbery is committed in town, Bernice dives into detective mode and stumbles across vital clues that could help find the thieves. No one believes her except Ike, a one-legged fisherman who lives down at the wharf.
Bernice Takes a Plunge is an exciting and humorous adventure for middle grade readers.
I must honestly say I haven’t read a children’s book in a while, not to mention one this adorable. Bernice Takes A Plunge by Anne Harth is a wholesome, feel-good story centered around a precocious and over-imaginative potential author called Bernice.
This is a fun and adventurous mystery, about a young girl who fancies herself an amateur detective and novelist, who’s always noticing things that no-one else does and has quite the imagination. I really couldn’t help loving this quirky, adorable bundle of energy that Bernice, the main character, was. She has all sorts of ideas, and usually her imaginative nature is something I’ve missed in my usual reading! For the adults, she would be a very tough kid to handle, but for me, as a reader of this book? She is a prefect character! This is a fun read not just for middle graders but also for parents who may well recognise endearing but perhaps also exasperating traits in their own aspiring heroines. I finished it hoping that author Anne Harth will bring Bernice back in a sequel and it would definitely be something I’d read and recommend to those around me!
After I finished reading Bernice a few days ago, I gave my device to my little brother to see if he’d enjoy it too, like I do with all middle-grade/children books I have and he has been intently staring at the screen every time I’ve seen him since. He is on page 89 right now and I cant wait to hear what he thinks when he’s done. I hope he enjoyed it as much as I have.
Among all the middle grade books I’ve read, this is one of my favorites so far and Bernice reminds me of many female detectives I’ve read about in YA; her intentions are good and honorable but somehow things don’t always pan out the way she intends. This is a smashing start to a series; not only is there a mystery to solve but we get to know Bernice herself along with her life at home and her friends. She is a beautifully rounded and well-rounded character who will appeal to everyone who opens this book and all credit to author Ann Harth. With plenty of laughs to balance the serious side of the story, I found this very entertaining and worthy of all five stars! Highly recommended for all ages – not just the 9-12 year old’s it’s intended for.
About the Author
Ann Harth writes fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. Strong, interesting characters creep into most of her books and stories, and many arrive with a sense of humour.
Before becoming a writer, mentor and developmental editor in Far North Queensland, Ann studied psychology, waited tables, bar-tended, picked strawberries, worked as a clown and punched keys on various tills. She also spent ten years working with children with special needs. Ann taught writing for the Australian College of Journalism for eight years before taking the leap into freelance work.
Ann has had a number of fiction and non-fiction children’s books published in Australia and the UK and over 120 short stories sold internationally.
After five years (2015-2020) she has stepped down from her position as Far North Queensland representative for The Society of Children’s Book Writers and illustrators as Bernice is eager to dive into another book.
When not tapping the keys, Ann stuffs a notebook into her pack and searches for remote places to camp, hike or explore.
Thank you to @BlackberryBookTours for inviting me to be a part of this tour and giving me the chance to read about Bernice and her wild imagination!