Book Review: Jungledrop by Abi Elphinstone

“When you become a grown-up, several rather troubling things happen at once; you spend large chunks of the day banging on about homework, vegetables and bedtimes, and you fall asleep the moment you sit down in a comfortable armchair.”

Have you ever felt more called out as an adult reading a Middle Grade book?

Jungledrop is the third book in The Unmapped Chronicles and, obviously, I loved it. I adore the way Abi pulls you in, and how it’s like a conspiracy with young readers against the grown ups.

One thing I really love about this series is the way that the stories all link, but time has passed between each nook, so the characters who were kids in previous books come back as adults in the later ones. I loved seeing Casper again.

This book is all about Fox and Fibber, siblings with a fierce rivalry. Their surname is Petty-Squabbles (very apt) and I love the way that Abi plays on words like this. They are petty, they fight a lot and it is not easy to like them at the start of their story. They sound awful; they love insulting people and being horrible to each other, but they did grow on me eventually. Fox feels like their parents love Fibber more because he has more talent and pleases them more. Fox empathises with people which her parents don’t approve of.

We get to meet some new, brilliant characters. I adored Tedious Niggle, the jungle spook; I enjoyed the way he was included and that he check the kids are prepared for travel by asking if they’d brushed their teeth. I loved Heckle the parrot. She is amazing, she assists on the journey and translates for others.

This book is packed with gorgeous messages about the importance of kindness and compassion, listening to others and being open about your feelings. There are also brilliant references to the current climate crisis in a way that will raise awareness in younger readers.

Abi has done it again. Another phenomenal read.

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