Nessie Quest

Crown. Jan. 2020. 352p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780525645672.
Gr 3-7–If Ada Ru Fitzhugh has to spend the summer away from her best friend, she’d rather be at the Magic Kingdom, not in a tiny Scottish town on Loch Ness, where her father teaches. Ada Ru doesn’t like change. She’s also worried about losing her best friend, and she fears the ghosts that she believes haunt the ancient abbey where she and her parents are staying, as well as bodies of water. She is intrigued by Dax, an American boy who sits on the stairs of the abbey strumming a guitar. Then she meets Hamish Bean Tibby, who runs the Nessie Quest boat tours with his Gran, who was a famous Nessie hunter. Ada Ru doesn’t believe in the Loch Ness Monster. Her patient parents challenge her to investigate, so she sets about interviewing the townsfolk for the truth behind the legend. Eventually, though, she must gather her courage and get on a boat. This adventure charms in every way. The characters are endearingly eccentric. Townsfolk speak in a Scottish dialect that is easily understood and often hilarious, while the atmospheric Loch Ness setting sets a perfect stage. Readers will root for these three oddballs as they form an unlikely friendship and embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Fans of the author’s Lemons will delight in a certain cameo appearance.
VERDICT Fans of warm, quirky comedies will love this epic adventure and friendship story.

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