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Olivia's Enchanted Summer

Lyn Gardner
Nosy Crow
Released

Olivia's Enchanted Summer

Olivia is back. Everybody's favourite teen high wire artist returns in yet another thrilling adventure.

Olivia's Enchanted Summer is set in Edinburgh during the Festival, which will bring back happy memories to those of us who have only recently returned from the 2012 mayhem.

In an attempt to make some money (possibly a Lyn Gardner in joke as nobody ever does) Olivia's father Jack Marvell takes the star pupils from the Swan Academy up to Edinburgh to create an intellectual Fringe circus.

His marketing and business skills would shame an 11-year-old and, soon enough, the venture seems destined for disaster.

Olivia and her friends, not to mention little sister Eel, get involved in far more excitement than would ever usually occur as a result of meetings with an unusual trio.

Alfie, a 10-year-old magician, causes Olivia vast amounts of heartache until she learns yet another of the family secrets that have made this series so enjoyable to date.

The half-Rumanian Purcarete sisters, Evie and Tati create a different kind of chaos introducing not only additional circus skills to the mix but also jewel robbery and petty gangsters.

It is not giving too much of the game away to say that Olivia's knack of jumping to the wrong conclusion continues to fuel the drama. Nor will anyone be that surprised to learn that by the end of yet another very satisfying read, good triumphs over evil to set us all up for the fifth novel in the series, which is apparently due to be published in October 2012.

It is really hard to overpraise the Olivia novels with their mix of acting and circus backdrops to exciting dramas involving brave but believable kids in situations they can be truly exciting for children of all ages, guaranteeing laughter and tears from all but the hardest-hearted.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher