The Caravan at the Edge of Doom – Jim Beckett

First of all, a confession. I was not expecting this book to be as brilliant as it was/is! I was expecting a fun story but there is so much more than just laughs to this epic tale!

When I first glanced at the first page I realised that I was in for a treat! I had to share a picture of it on Twitter and it grabbed many other people’s attention too!

Harley is our main character, she is staying at her grandparent’s caravan when suddenly they all explode and disappear. Luckily there is an explanation. Her grandparents are gate keepers to a portal to the underworld. They help guide restless spirits into the afterlife. Now that they have passed on to the beyond themselves it is assumed that Harley must take over the family business.

There is one small problem… Her little brother was hiding in their Nan’s bag when she passed to the beyond… Harley has no option but to venture into the afterlife herself and save her little brother! But obviously this is never going to be easy! She is set 12 tasks to complete before she can become a hero and return home. Temptation, bad influences and self discovery follow as she moves through the challenges. I won’t give too much away here but there are some great messages and discussion points throughout the latter part of the book.

I think this would be a great read aloud in a yr5/6 classroom but equally it will be very popular if put in the class library. I also believe it will be popular with reluctant readers! Get it for your class now!


The illustrations by Olia Muza are amazing too, but in the book they are black and white. I’ve got a coloured copy of one of the images. I think you’ll love it.

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