Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Sky Chasers by Emma Carroll

An encounter with a boy dangling from the sky changes pickpocket Magpie's life forever. Like her, the boy dreams of flying over the rooftops of Paris. His family, the Montgolfiers, are desperate to be first to discover the secret of flight. Together with Pierre, Magpie is soon caught up in a world of inflatable bloomers, spies and a trio of unruly animals in a race to be the first to fly a hot air balloon - in front of the King and Queen of France.

Born from an idea by Neal Jackson, winner of Chicken House's The Big Idea Competition, Emma Carroll has written another marvellous middle grade book that transports you to another time, takes you on an adventure and enchants you with a medley of characters... Including three animals in the case of Sky Chasers!

As the story begins, we meet Magpie, an orphan girl living on the streets, as she is tasked with stealing a very important box from a household in France. Magpie is known for stealing, however she is a pickpocket and so breaking and entering a house is new territory for her, but the lure of some coins seals the deal... Except things don't quite to plan. Not too long after, Magpie finds herself employed by the very same people she previously tried to steal from, and makes a friend in the form of Pierre. 

Magpie and Pierre soon find themselves helping Pierre's father and uncle (the Montgolfier brothers) in inventing the world's first hot air balloon, and this is where the story really gets interesting. Adventure ensues, of the fun but also dangerous variety, with the best friend duo even finding themselves prisoners of the King and Queen of France at one point!

Elements I really enjoyed in Sky Chasers (that often run through Emma Carroll's novels in general) include: a strong female protagonist, the beauty of friendship, a hint of mystery to keep you page turning, the wonderful way in which history & adventure are combined, and not to mention Emma's amazing way with words... The added addition of the common 'One for Sorrow' nursery rhyme, which pertains to the sighting of magpies, running throughout the book was a noted and appreciated detail also.

If you're a regular reader of my blog then I'm sure you don't need me to tell you this (again) - but go and pick up a book by Emma Carroll; you won't be disappointed!



  1. This looks really good! Thanks for sharing it, I love the cover too.

  2. I’ve ou read one by her, but I loved it — I’m sure I’ll love her others too :)

    1. I hope so, Christine - I was so happy to see you'd picked up one of her titles via Goodreads.

  3. I haven't read anything by Emma Carroll but I'm trying to read more Middle Grade and this sounds amazing! Adding to my list!

    1. I hope you're able to enjoy a few of Emma Carroll's MG titles, Katherine - I think you'd like them.


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