Sunday, 5 October 2014

Children's Book Review: Evie Brooks in Central Park Showdown by Sheila Agnew

The second installment in the Evie Brooks series by Sheila Agnew, Central Park Showdown expands on Evie's wonderfully chaotic world with new friends, new enemies and even more unusual animals for her veterinarian uncle Scott to treat!

The book blurb reads:
With the arrival of her father from Australia, Evie’s life is thrown into turmoil. Not only has she to contend with a new woman in Scott’s life, but now she has to face the prospect of a custody battle between her uncle and her father. Can Evie’s friends rally and convince her father to withdraw his application for custody?

The Evie Brooks stories are such a joy to read and review, they're fantastic little books, absolutely jam packed with character. At the end of Marooned in Manhattan (the first book in the series) we felt that there were a number of plot lines that simply demanded follow up and we're glad to say that Central Park Showdown delivers.

In Central Park Showdown Evie has very much settled in to her life in New York city, surrounded by the friends, family (and nemesis's) that she came to know in the first book. The main storyline is based around Evie's long absent Dad, Michael, turning up in New York and fighting her uncle Scott for custody. 

Despite the very serious principle plot, there is a lot going on in Evie's life to keep her from brooding on the court case all day every day. For one, Evie's home life at her uncle's veterinary practice is as exciting as ever with new animals to be treated, zany customers abound, and a new receptionist called Holly. Evie also starts her first term of school in New York with her best friends Kylie and Greg, there's even a handsome Irish boy in one of her classes who's just moved to the city.

As a role model for young girls, Evie is wonderful, she's tenacious, brave, funny and thoroughly her own person. A couple of times in the book she says or does something terrible whether by accident, or from temper, but the reader then witnesses how she learns from these experiences and tries to put things right. Everyone 'puts their foot in it' every now and again, and we feel that the way Evie always tries to right her wrongs, can only serve to positively influence young readers. 

Central Park Showdown is an original and captivating story that is both heartwarming and effortlessly funny- we're already looking forward to book three. (Which we suspect might be called "Turmoil in Times Square!" or "Drama Downtown!")

Central Park Showdown is best suited for girls aged 9-13 and is available for purchase now. It is published by The O'Brien Press and you can read more about the full series on their website here.

Check out our review of the first book in the Evie Brook's series, Marooned in Manhattan from March of this year. 

Thank you to the O'Brien Press for sending us this book to review :-)

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