Title: Awa and the Dreamrealm
Author: Isa Pearl Ritchie
Genre: Fantasy, Children’s fiction
Publisher:Te Rā Aroha Press
Pages: 180-200 pages
Publication Date: 1st November 2019
My Rating: 5/5
What if dreams are more real than waking life?
Life is already complicated enough for Awa Bryant when she starts having weird dreams – waking dreams – and strange coincidences start appearing in her real life.
She meets dreamcharmer, Veila, a quirky glowing creature who helps to guide Awa through the mysterious Dreamrealm.
At first the Dreamrealm is a glorious escape from Awa’s daily struggles but something is not right… Soon Awa discovers she has a bigger quest, and everything she cares about is at stake. Will she be brave enough to face her fears and save her friends?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Isa Pearl Ritchie is a New Zealand writer. As a child, she loved creating imaginary worlds. She has completed a PhD on food sovereignty in Aotearoa. Her second novel, Fishing for Māui, was selected as one of the top books of 2018 in the New Zealand Listener and was a finalist in the NZ Booklovers Award for Best Adult Fiction Book 2019. Awa and the Dreamrealm is her first book for young people.
Her website is: www.isaritchie.com
Her latest series is aimed at children aged between 8-14 years.
Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
This truly is a magical children’s book, filled with dreams and imagination. Awa’s parents have divorced and she finds herself living with her Mum in an apartment, considerably different to the cosy home she lived in before. She’s having to start a new school in the city and feels like the odd one out immediately. Awa keeps having scary dreams, which seem to keep seeping into reality starting with a starry painted nail. Her magical dreams and spectacular powers make this a phenomenal book and wonderful start to the series.
This book covers some challenging subjects but handles them in an age-appropriate and sensitive way. Awa’s going through a multitude of issues including: her parent’s divorce, starting a new school, changing friendships, bullying from peers, and even mental health. The way it’s written is perfect for its intended audience and extremely relatable.
This is completely different to any book I’ve read before that involves the theme of dreaming. It’s so much more fantastical and imaginative and makes the whole book enthralling to read. Awa’s dreams seem to seep into her reality and makes it difficult for her to know what is real or not. Her Mum is absolutely fantastic and picks up on her changes in mood and is sensitive to her needs – unlike her father, who always seems too busy.
The vivid descriptions paint the landscape of the Dreamrealm brilliantly. It has beautiful purple meadows, a Priestess tree and even a humongous turtle in the middle of a lake. The way the story is set amongst many Rooms of Mind that people can all dream within the same place and not see one other is so imaginative and unique.
Awa learns within the Dreamrealm from Veila that she is special and unique. This comes with a lot of responsibility but she dreams within a world where anything is possible. Awa has the potential and the power to bring light to the shadows of the world and eradicate it of darkness.
At times the book is dark but not in an inappropriate manner and wouldn’t scare children. It’s full of mystery and intrigue, making it all the easier to read. I managed to read this easily in two sitting and could have done it in one. It’s a really refreshing take on fantasy and nothing like the books I’ve read before.
Ritchie’s writing style is beautifully descriptive, flows beautifully and immerses you in Awa’s world. I cannot wait to return to this series and find out what will happen next to Awa…
Would you like a copy?
If you would like a copy of this book, please try to get a copy from your local booksellers as they rely upon your custom. If that isn’t possible, here are some alternative places online where you can purchase the book: Amazon UK and Amazon US.
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