Popsugar Reading Challenge 2021 Book 44

Prompt: A book with a gem, mineral, or rock in the title

I was planning to read The Salt Path for this prompt. I’ve started it a couple of times but haven’t managed to get past the first few chapters. So I’ve popped it back on the shelf for the time being and picked up something else. I’ve chose The Diamond of Drury Lane by Julia Golding.

What it’s about?

Set in 1790’s Covent Garden this book whisks you back to a bygone era, and to embark on an adventure about one hidden treasure, two bare-knuckle boxers, three enemies, and four hundred and thirty-eight rioters.

It is the tale of Cat Royal, an orphan, four foot four with long red hair and not a penny to call her own. She lives in the Theater Royal on Drury Lane, a place filled with dramatic characters, theatrical spectacles, and now, a secret treasure–which Cat has been asked to protect. Her new friend Pedro, a former slave and gifted violinist, is eager to help, and so is the theater prompter, Jonathan, who is hiding secrets of his own. But when the ruthless gang leader Billy Shepherd learns about the treasure, Cat thinks she’s going to lose it for sure. She still doesn’t know what the treasure is, so how can she keep it safe from Billy and his gang? Follow Cat into the streets of London, as she faces danger and adventure, racing to be the first to discover the diamond of Drury Lane.

What I think:

The Diamond of Drury Lane is award winning children’s historical fiction and it is a really fun read.

Cat Royal is an orphan loving backstage in the Theatrre Royal  hence her name. She earns her keep by running errands for the different departments backstage, including theatre owner, Sheridan.

Cat is bright and feisty. She cab take care if herself and uses her wits to survive the rough streets around Covent Garden, mixing with both gangs and organised criminals, market stall owners  theatre people and the gentry.

After eavesdropping on a conversation she was not supposed to hear, Sheridan tasks Cat with keeping his diamond safe. But Cat does not know where the diamond is. With rumours circulating around Covent Garden, Cat finds that she is not the only one trying to work out the location of the treasure.

There is a great cast of characters and lots of twists and turns on this action packed adventure.

London of the 1790s is recreared in atmospheric detail so the reader ran immerse themselves in Cat’s world.

This a great read and one I will definitely be recommending in my classroom library.

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