Flash Review: Astrid the Unstoppable by Maria Parr, translated by Guy Puzey

By Maureen Tai, 19 September 2022

Nine-year old Astrid Glimmerdal has lion’s mane hair, a farmer dad, a marine scientist mother, a pet seagull and a curmudgeonly, ex-troll best friend/godfather. She is also the only child in her small, remote and fictional village of Glimmerdal (her namesake). Nestled at the foot of snow-capped mountains, the village is also home to the irritable Klaus Hagen and his adults-only Wellness Retreat, lovelorn digger-owner Peter, window-peeper-and-people-snooper Sally, and dog-owning-hair-stylist Theo. With this delightful setting and such an intriguing cast of characters, it is inevitable that a charmingly written, funny and touching story flows, as surely as the babbling waters of the River Glimmerdal, from the pages of Astrid the Unstoppable. In this middle grade novel, translated from the original Norwegian, Astrid – the self-proclaimed thunderbolt of Glimmerdal – uncovers secrets about her nearest and dearest while making new friends and leaving a trail of havoc in her wake. Irrepressible, spirited and adventurous souls aged 8 and up will adore this engaging read (I certainly did!).

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