Middle-grade book review of The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty
Bronte Mettlestone is ten years old when her parents are killed by pirates.
This does not bother her particularly: her parents ran away to have adventures when she was a baby. She has been raised by her Aunt Isabelle, with assistance from the Butler, and has spent a pleasant childhood of afternoon teas and riding lessons. Now, however, her parents have left detailed instructions for Bronte in their will. (Instructions that, annoyingly, have been reinforced with faery cross-stitch, which means that if she doesn’t complete them, terrible things could happen!) She travels the kingdoms, perfectly alone, delivering gifts to ten other aunts: a farmer aunt who owns an orange orchard, a veterinarian aunt who specializes in dragon care, a pair of aunts who captain a cruise ship, and a former rock star aunt who is now the reigning monarch of a small kingdom.
But as she travels from aunt to aunt, Bronte suspects there might be more to this journey than the simple delivery of treasure.
My Thoughts after Reading
This middle grade book is thicker than the usual. It’s perfect for lovers of books, especially advanced younger MG readers who love carrying thick books around.
Bronte has never met her parents. She was left, as an after-thought, in her pram in the lobby of her aunt, with a note from her parents saying they are off to see the world, so would you look after our baby please? Ten years later she receives a telegram that they have been killed, and their will stipulates a very strict set of instructions for Bronte to follow. She is to travel to the places her ten aunts live, and deliver a specific present to them. This book gives an account of the places she’s visited and what she did there.
Through out, there is a sense of ‘where is this leading’ as they are seemingly unconnected. All the aunts are different. Some have families and do family things together, others have unusual jobs like working with dragons or dealing with spells. However, they all come together very nicely at the end.
The voice of the narrator is perfect for younger middle-grade readers. If you are looking for books similar to this, I’d recommend The Unadoptables. Both are thick books, light-hearted and full of adventures. 3/5