The Undrowned Child
Michelle Lovric

It's the beginning of the 20th century; the age of scientific progress. But for Venice the future looks bleak. A conference of scientists assembles to address the problems, among whose delegates are the parents of twelve-year-old Teodora. Within days of her arrival, she is subsumed into the secret life of Venice: a world in which salty-tongued mermaids run subversive printing presses, ghosts good and bad patrol the streets and librarians turn fluidly into cats. A battle against forces determined to destroy the city once and for all quickly ensues. Only Teo, the undrowned child who survived a tragic accident as a baby, can go 'between the linings' to subvert evil and restore order.

'I would recommend this book to anyone that would like to have fun while finding out true stories about this world famous city... This brilliant adventure is full of fantasy and drama and there is always something going on' (Rachel)

'Of several fine debuts this year, one of the outstanding new voices for readers of this age group is Michelle Lovric... A mysterious tale set in an historically fantasy Venice - with mermaids - is gripping, elegant and original.' Daniel Hahn, The Independent
Dominika, from St James Catholic High School

I think this book was hugely interesting as the writer uses great suspense, interesting vocabulary and various other techniques.


Although it was slightly hard to keep up with the dates at the beginning of each chapter I soon got into it (which happened very quickly). I just looked and knew, if you know what I mean.

Emma, from Queen Elizabeth's Girls' School, Barnet

Teodora is an ordinary girl and her dream is to go to Venice. One day she manages to persuade her parents into taking her there. In Venice there is an old bookshop were she gets knocked out and finds that in a book there is a message to her. Then she realised that a boy had gone missing. From then on, every time she closed her eyes she saw a world that couldn’t possibly be there.


Overall I liked the book and thought that it was a good book. My favourite character is Teodora and I recommend the book to all....

Laura, from St James Catholic High School

When I first started reading this book, it seemed very slow-paced, and I found it difficult to get into. However, I kept on reading it, and when I got past that, I loved it. Just like Venice itself, there seemed to be more to The Undrowned Child than I first thought. The book reminds me of Harry Potter a little bit (which happen to be my favourite books, so that’s a good thing!) in the sense that the heroine of the book finds a magical realm that is unseen by most other people, that she’s the enemy of an evil dark force seeking to restore his material form and wreak vengeance on those who previously defied him, and she seems to meet a big bunch of supernatural beings and is aided in her fight against the enemy by various magical devices.


So overall, I really liked The Undrowned Child, but it was very slow paced, and I couldn’t find myself reading it for too long before I got bored. It’s definitely a book for someone with a longer attention span than me!

Samantha, from St James Catholic High School

Perhaps this is one of the best and quirkiest young adult novels I've ever read. The sheer attention to detail is mind-boggling and when you add to the bowl the urban fantasy elements, it’s something that you’re either going to love or hate - just like Marmite. What did keep getting me was the timeline of this story. I'd personally have preferred it had it been a modern telling rather than the setting of the past. This story could have been just as good if it was modern, purely as I think that the story speaks more to modern sensibilities over that of the time in which it is set.

Personally I really liked this novel but I assume it is rather like Marmite, love it or hate it. I will definitely be listening out for Michelle in the future.

Sophia, from St James Catholic High School

This book is about a young girl who goes to Venice and has a little surprise when a magical book falls and lands on her head by accident - but is it really?


The girl’s name is Teodora, her parents are scientists and they are on an expedition.


My favourite part of the story is when the book falls on Teodora and causes her to pass out and fall to the ground. The bookshop owner allows Teodora to keep the book. And this is where the adventure begins.


I loved this book and I recommend it to whoever enjoys a good adventure because if you do, this book is the book for you.


Out of 10, I would level this book as a 9/10 because it was great reading it but it only just missed a 10.

Yasmine, from St James Catholic High School

A magical fantasy story unfolds when eleven-year-old Teodora is swept into a magical world with underwater monsters and mermaids, all held together by a story book. Teodora and the invisible children are given the most important job - to save dying Venice. Can they?


This book is an exciting story recommended to people who are into fantasy and are aged 11+.