Year 4 are just about to get stuck into their new book – His Name was Walter by Emily Rodda. The book is a magical mystery tour, encompassing touches of yesteryear, folklore, fantasy, love and history. When four children and their teacher, on a history visit, are left in the lurch when their bus breaks down, they seek sanctuary in an abandoned old mansion. A miraculous discovery is made, in the drawer of an aging desk is a handwritten book, along with a collection of unusual paintings. What the group uncovers is a book titled ‘His Name Was Walter’. As the children uncover Walter’s perplexing story, the contemporary narrative takes a back seat. Revelations are made about this mysterious figure Walter. As the children’s imagination is held captive by Walter’s adventures, the reader and the group learn of Walter’s background, his upbringing, his love for another and his search for a witch’s lost daughter. Readers are given an active role alongside the school excursion children to solve Walter’s beguiling mystery. For those with wild imaginations, this book is the perfect antidote. His Name is Walter is an enjoyable book within a book, this set piece has the power to bewitch young readers with its fantasy and mystery based elements.

‘Once upon a time, in a dark city far away, there lived a boy called Walter, who had nothing but his name to call his own …’ The handwritten book, with its strangely vivid illustrations, has been hidden in the old house for a long, long time. Tonight, four kids and their teacher will find it. Tonight, at last, the haunting story of Walter and the mysterious, tragic girl called Sparrow will be read – right to the very end … A mystery, a prophecy, a long-buried secret. And five people who will remember this night as long as they live.

2nd November 2021