Polly & Buster: The Mystery of the Magic Stones (book 2) – Sally Rippin (8+)

The first Polly & Buster literally blew me away. Finding junior middle fiction with such a socially complex plot and character development is rare. Sally had a lot of expectations to live up to in book 2 and I can confidently assure you that she’s smashed all of them!

The story of Polly & Buster and their forbidden friendship continues from where it left off in book 1. In book 2, The Mystery of the Magic Stones, there is a lot more action; the plot thickens with Miss Spinnaker’s revelation; there is growing unhappiness in the monster community with regards to the way they are mistreated in society; and the mystery of why Polly feels a calling from her magic stones to the dangerous mines. Will Polly be able to overcome her learning difficulties and stand strong in the face of multiple challenges? Will Buster remain by his friend’s side even when she is being horrible? All is revealed in book 2. The only remaining question is when can we read book 3? I’m desperate to know what happens next in the lives of these beautiful characters.

This is an exceptional series where Sally has managed the difficult feat of writing about a subject as complex as racism and has made it accessible to young middle fiction readers. Sally also includes hefty subjects such as learning  difficulties; being yourself; and standing up for your beliefs. Yet she does it with such a magical touch that it never feels forced or overwhelming. The first Polly & Buster was one of my top five books of 2017. It seems book 2 will be similarly placed in 2018.

– L-J