It’s been a while since I updated this, but I have actually been reading quite a bit (thank you Kindle, and flooded car park). This book was read at some point before the flooding though, and is an actual hard copy book. Not quite sure where it came from, as it doesn’t have the standard remainder bookshop marker on the page, but it is a very random children’s book. Perhaps the Mary Ryan’s sale table- they just put stickers on. Oh yes, my bargain book table habits.
Anyway, the book is titled The 7 Professors of the Far North, and it is written by John Fardell. It is the kind of book I would have loved to find in my childhood. Unfortunately back then he publishers were all about realism for kids, writing books about kids with bullies, drugs and family issues. Because what a child with those kinds of problems needs is escape into exactly the same world. Not. Books can be a form of escape. Yes, it can be interesting to read if you are not experiencing it (hello Flowers in the Attic), but a lot of the books tried to be about average kids, in the worst ways. And they were not amusing. Diary of a wimpy kid does it pretty well, but it is probably an exception. All I can say is I am thankful for the writers who kept writing adventure and fantasy and to JK Rowling for forcing the publisher to realise that people want it. Of course, now it has swung too far the other way.
Anyway, this book starts with a averagish kid, Sam, (with a bent towards science and adventure) bemoaning the fact he has to stay with a boring relative while his scientist parents attend a conference over the Easter holidays. But they surprise him by sending him off with an old professor of theirs who invents things. He has two wards that are around Sam’s age, so he is a perfect person to stay with. It looks like it is going to be a great holiday, the Professor invents wonderful things, two other kids to hang out with. Then, the first night there, a stranger staggers in, he is an old friend of the professor and he warns that Murdo has returned!. This is all very strange, so the professor explains. Many years ago, he and six other professors were invited to start a university in a small island/country in the Artic Circle. All was going well, but one of the professors, Murdo, had strange ideas He was kidnapping people and experimenting.
The other professors confronted him, and he tried to kill them. The university was abandoned, and the island was as well. Years later, Murdo has returned to his old lab and strange things are happening. The other professors are all summoned to the house so they can prepare to confront him again, but as they are getting ready to leave, they are kidnapped by Murdo. It is up to the three kids to find them, rescue them, and help defeat Murdo. It is decent adventure story, the kids have some assistance from adults, but circumstances force them to be the ones taking action or working things out. People are nice, or helpful but also have flaws.
It is a decent read, nice balance. Not a totally engrossing one though (although I am an adult, kids may find it better).