“The Crooked Sixpence” is the first of three books in the series about The Uncommoners by Jennifer Bell. The story is aimed at tweens and brings us to the world of common things with uncommon abilities.
Here is my bookreview of “The Crooked Sixpence”
We follow Ivy Sparrow and her older brother Seb when they discover a secret world right under their noses. When their grandmother Sylvie is admitted to the hospital, they siblings are thrown into dangerous events. Suddenly they find themselves caught up in a big mystery and they set out to explore. A family secret, weird policemen with toiletbrush weapons and a huge underground market called Lundinor. This story is full of ordinary things with magical powers all put together in a thrilling adventure.
I know this book is very suitable for kids and young teens but I absolutely loved it from start to finish! I thought some of the uncommon items (such as the toiletbrushes for the policemen) were a bit farfetched and weird, but this story is all about turning the commonsense upside down. The author reveals the logic behind why some of these ordinary, everyday things are magical and I think it’s such a great idea that makes the silliness more believable.
Ivy and Seb travel to Lundinor, and underground marketplace for uncommon goods, totally unplanned and unprepared. They meet a variety of different people and ghosts too. I think Bell manages to explain all the mechanics of her world quite well and convincingly. “The Uncommoners” series seems perfectly suitable for the younger readers/listeners, even though Ivy and Seb encounter some scary people.
It shouldn’t be compared to other fantasy works really, as the series has a very different vibe than e.g. the Harry Potter series. “The Uncommoners” is much more fun and vibrant and the book cover illustrates this tremendously well. Ivy and Seb are introduced to the uncommoners’ traditional trading outfits, which are anything but boring. When the big family secret ties into a big historical event from the magical underworld, things start to get even better. As a reader, I just had to follow Ivy, Seb and their friends around Lundinor, to see what would happen.
The characters are believable, the universe is crazy and wacky but I’m buying it. The plot evolves nicely and is exciting even for the more experienced readers, if you like weird fantasy-magic stories and family secrets. Especially the ones where a bunch of cool kids have to figure everything out on their own. It’s a perfect fit for the younger, almost teenagers, if they like adventure. The whole story feels so colorful and fun and dangerous, with Ivy and Seb really proving that they can handle anything.
I certainly enjoyed it and couldn’t wait for the next book in the series. As soon as I saw “The Uncommoners – The Smoking Hourglass” in my local bookstore, I had to have it!
I’m very curious to hear what your thoughts are, on “The Uncommoners – The Crooked Sixpence”. Please let me know in the comments!
If you’d like to read more of my bookreviews, please have a look at my collection of bookreviews here>>
I’ve asked other Danish bookreviewers what they thought of it, and here one of them (in Danish):
Bechs Books: “I De Ualmindelige: Den bøjede mønt er der ingen tryllestave, men derimod en masse almindelige hverdagsting, der her er ualmindelige på grund af magiske egenskaber […]” Læs hele Bechs Books anmeldelse her>>