Tom Hassler and the Rats of Droolmoan Cave by Doug Wilson
Why does Tom have no relatives? Not even a dad. He intends finding out when he goes to his grandmother's place - a grandmother he didn't even know existed until recently. What he thinks will be a break from boring school routine becomes quite scary when he is called to go urgently. On the voyage to his grandmother's place he comes across something that not in a million years he would have imagined. Before long he is involved in a mission to save the sea people from a deadly battle with Madame Hortense and her rat pack. The only thing Tom has to help is Maria, a girl who has similar powers as Tom, his wily Grandmother and the sea people. Does he have the inner resources to do it?
An exciting adventure fantasy story that boys (and girls) will find hard to put down. It is a coming-of-age story about a young boy finding the strength and belief from within to solve a problem. He also has to win the respect of the sea people who expect a lot from him.
On the front cover of the book it says it is an eco-story but it is a lot more subtle than that. The rats are a real problem in the story especially to sea birds but it is more about stopping their leader - Madam Hortense. The author elaborates on why rats are a problem to native birds on a fact page at the back of the book.
The is the first book in a series published under the Erkel-Erkel Publishing Ltd imprint. I was pleased to see it had been professionally edited and proofed, and the artwork by illustrator Donovan Bixley is stunning as always.
Doug Wilson is a scientist and a traveller who has lived in Australia, England, America and Saudi Arabia. He has had a passion to write boys' adventure series with ecological ideas for a while. See an article about how this medical researcher began storytelling here.
The second book to look out for is called 'Tom Hassler and the Giant Razor-clawed Granioptrix of Ice Mountain'. This time Tom is called upon to help save a village in Moratadoor from a terrifying beast called Granioptrix. Can he do it?
Go to the website here.