Blog tour: ‘The Secret of Haven Point,’ by Lisette Auton, illustrated by Valentina Toro.

You are in for an absolute treat if you decide to pick up this outstanding debut from Lisette Auton. And you definitely should!

I was Haven Point’s first Wreckling, but I certainly wasn’t the last. There are forty-two of us now, not including the mermaids. When you’re a Wreckling, you mainly spend your days squabbling, eating and planning adventures. Oh, and Wrecklings also carry out wreckings, which is how we got our name . . .

Washed up as a baby beside a remote lighthouse and raised by a mermaid, Alpha Lux was the first foundling at Haven Point. Now the lighthouse is a ramshackle home for any disabled person who needs somewhere to belong. Looting from passing ships to make a living, they call themselves the Wrecklings, and for the children of Haven Point life is spent adventuring on the wild shore (and getting into trouble with the grown-ups).

But when Alpha spots a strange light up on the headland, she realizes that her beloved family are in danger of being discovered by Outsiders.

With their home under threat, the Wrecklings must decide what kind of future they want . . . and what they’re willing to do to get it.

Well I absolutely loved this! I sat down and read it over the course of a day, becoming immersed in the island world of Alpha and the other Wrecklings. And what a world it is – kind, inclusive, Northern, and full of fierce mermaids!

I say inclusive, because each of the island’s inhabitants has something about them which has meant they were never fully accepted by the outside world. On the ingeniously-adapted island, and protected by superstition and the power of The Boundaries, the Wrecklings become part of a community where everyone has an important role to play regardless of their perceived disabilities.

It is of huge credit to Auton that she has managed to create a cast of characters so interesting and who have such fantastic adventures, that readers immediately look beyond their disabilities and instead delight in how amazing they all are. It is partly down to Lisette’s lived experience as a disabled person, and partly down to her sensitive writing, that we get to view the characters as well-rounded and real – with strengths and character flaws like anyone else.

I would absolutely recommend this story to anyone who loves magic, intrigue, real friendships, and a thrilling finale.

Library Girl.

*Many thanks to Puffin Books for inviting me to be part of this blog tour*

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