Kid’s Book Review: Dark Peak

Kid’s Book Review: Dark Peak

About the Book and Author

From award-winning writer Marcus Sedgwick is a shortish story published by Oxford University Press with all the suspense, compelling characterisation and detail that readers have come to expect from this author. Marcus Sedgwick has fused mythology and mystery to create an eerie tale that is also accessible  for less-confident readers.

During a long, hot summer, two children, Stephanie and Stephen, go missing while on a school trip to Lud’s Church, a deep chasm in the heart of the Peak District. Porter and his friend, Sam, are sent to fetch help. When they return they are surprised to find that although Stephanie has been found, no one is even looking for Stephen anymore. Why can no one remember what’s happened him? What happened in the dark of Lud’s Church? And why does Porter get the feeling that supernatural forces from deep in the past are at play?

Dark Peak cover
Marcus Sedgwick

Marcus Sedgwick  is a writer of over 40 books for adults and young adults, of novels for younger people, of non-fiction and academic essays. He even published a couple of picture books once but that’s a secret. He is winner of many prizes, most notably the 2014 Michael L. Printz Award for his novel Midwinterblood.

Marcus has also received two Printz Honors, for Revolver in 2011 and The Ghosts of Heaven in 2016, giving him the most citations to date for America’s most prestigious book prize for writing for young adults.

Other notable award winning books include Floodland, Marcus’ first novel, which won the Branford-Boase Award in 2001, a prize for the best debut novel for children published in the UK each year; My Swordhand is Singing, which won the Booktrust Teenage Prize for 2007, and Lunatics and Luck, part of The Raven Mysteries series, which won a Blue Peter Book Award in 2011.

Book Review

The author has set a great scene and the plot is very intense

This book is in a collection of books called “super-readable rollercoasters”, and this story lived up to its name. I really enjoyed this book and I found it hard to put down once I got into it. The author has set a great scene and the plot is very intense.

On a school trip two children, who are quite the opposite of each other, go missing. Stephanie the popular girl and Stephen the loner. The story is all about trust and will they be found and why does nobody seem to care about Stephen Greene?

The main character is called Porter Fox and I thought that he seemed quite ordinary, but he did not seem to have many friends, he is quite an outsider. As the tension builds in the story I thought he was quite brave. He braved the elements in a thunderstorm and I found it quite scary when he came across the dead fox that looked like it was a warning.

I thought that all the characters were really well described and I felt like I could imagine exactly what they were like. From the bully who we then discover why he behaves the way he does to Sam, Porter’s friend, who tries to be funny all the time to cover his sadness.

When I finished reading the story I felt like there was still a lot of questions still unanswered but I felt relieved that everyone was safe at the end of the book.

At the end of the book there was some useful information about the background of the novel, the characters, some suggestions of what to read next, some talking points, a quiz and a glossary which helped me to think about what I had just read.

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Reviewer Profile

Sam - young reviewer
  • Name: Sam
  • Age: 11 years
  • Likes: parkour, nature and surfing
  • Dislikes: home-schooling and sweet potato
  • Favourite Book: D-Day Dog by Tom Palmer
  • Favourite Film: Black Panther
  • Favourite Song: Highway to Hell by AD/DC