Lottie Lipton Adventure Books: Dan Metcalf

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Lottie Lipton is nine years old and lives in the British Museum. Kids in Museums Volunteer, Maggie Monteath, shared these books with her grandsons who are keen museum visitors.

These books take you straight into the action. Unbeknown to the general public, priceless objects are always going missing in the British Museum, thieves are trying to break in, statues come to life, ancient hoards are found and, true to real life, and money is short. At the start of each adventure, the author tells us that Lottie has lived there with her Great Uncle Bert, Curator of Egyptology, ever since her parents were killed during an archaeological dig in Egypt. Uncle Bert may be a renowned Egyptologist but he isn’t nearly as clued up as Lottie when it comes to detective work so she ends up leading Uncle Bert, along with the kindly caretaker Reg, solving the mystery and keeping them out of trouble with the Head Curator.

Along the way, you learn about the British Museum, interact with objects from the galleries and have puzzles to solve. Perhaps more importantly, the stories help to understand why we have museums. At the end of each book, there’s a useful glossary and activities: such as cracking a code, finding your way through a maze, brainteasers and other puzzles and conundrums.

The books are all set in 1928 so Lottie remains 9 forever so I imagine this is the age group they are written for. My older grandson (9) liked the way the story went straight into the action and although they weren’t as challenging as the books he usually reads, he would still be interested in reading them. I dared to ask if having a girl as the main character would put him off but was firmly told that he’s enjoyed lots of adventure stories about girls, like ‘Carrie’s War’ and ‘Goodnight Mr. Tom’. My younger grandson (5) thought they would be too scary for Reception children but that Year 1 and 2 would enjoy having them read to them. He thought they sounded really good when his brother talked about them and he could see, ‘One had Egypt people so I think it will have Mummies’.

At the moment, there are 6 books in this series. The first 4 have an Egyptian theme then the author uses the clever device of Uncle Bert standing in for Cedric, the Curator of the Ancient Roman collection, while he goes on a dig to change the theme to the Romans for the next 2. As they would make ideal reading alongside history topics I’m hoping the Ancient Greek Curator will need to take some leave soon …

The Lottie Lipton Adventures are published by A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury (www.bloomsbury.com), at £4.99 each and are also available as e-books. For a free e-book, sampler go to http://danmetcalf.co.uk/

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