Book Title: The Adventures of Caitlin Haq
Part of Series: No
Author: Stuart Williams
Available at: Smashwords
Number of words (approximately): 33 340
Star Rating (of five): 4
Summary: Caitlin is not an ordinary girl. Her mum is not an ordinary mum. Cailtin and her back cat go on exciting adventures, frightening robbers and punishing bullies, helping her friends and having great fun.
- It was the kind of night that wasn’t really black. It was the kind of night when the sky was very blue and all of the stars had come out and the moon was a sort of bright white. The kind of night when you could see all of the shapes of all of the houses and the big hill on the edge of the town looked like a big dark lump when you looked out of Caiti Haq’s sitting room window. There were so many stars in the sky, Caiti wondered how they could all fit and thought that, if she had a pen that could write in the sky, it would take forever to join them up.
You see, standing in her sitting room window to look at the stars was easy because mummy still hadn’t put any curtains up. Mummy had said that she couldn’t put any curtains up because they would fall down as there was no pole to hang them on, and that wasn’t mummy’s fault because her friend, who had said he would put it up, kept forgetting to whenever he came round to do it. But looking at the stars was better now than before because mummy had had the new carpet put down so her feet didn’t get cold, like they did when it was only the old brown tiles on the floor. Caiti loved looking at the stars and the moon because she really wanted to fly there one day, and she knew that, if she worked very, very hard, she might when she was older. A lot older, that is, because children didn’t go into space, you had to be very old, perhaps twenty or even twenty-five to do that.
“Come on you, up those stairs, young lady, school in the morning, and clean your teeth tonight!” Mummy shouted from the kitchen. Caiti gave the moon a little wave and skipped into the hall. This was easy because, when mummy had the new carpet put down, the door had gone from the sitting room and was now up the garden, leaning against the garage. Caiti had wondered why, because, when her friends had new carpets fitted, none of their doors had gone missing. But then, even though she was only ten years old, Caiti knew that her mummy was a bit stranger than other mummies and was always doing funny things. Most of the time this was alright because it made her laugh but there were times when she was really embarrassing.
Caiti thought, “You see what I mean,” as, when she was half way up the stairs going to the bathroom, mummy ran up behind her, grabbed her round the middle and shouted, “I’m gonna-eat-ya, I’m gonna-eat-ya,” and carried her into her bedroom, even though she’d just told her to clean her teeth and she needed to be in the bathroom for that.
Caiti was lying on her high-up bed, with Slim asleep across her feet, snoring peacefully, his tail shooting up in the air to point at the ceiling every time he breathed out, when, suddenly, in the way that animals do, he suddenly woke, his senses aware of something, he didn’t know what but there was something there. Turning slowly, he arched his back and pointed his body at the window, his nose wrinkling and his green eyes narrowing to little slits. Caiti sat upright, her heart pounding. Hardly daring to breath, she gulped with fright as a shape appeared outside her window, hovering. The silhouette wobbled as a thin, spooky arm reached out and tapped gently on the glass.
Slim hissed and his claws flicked from his tiny paws. Caiti dived for the cover of the sheets as the thing spoke in a squeaky little voice. “Slim, you stupid feline, let me in before I turn you into a toad. It’s Witch Wobblytum. I need your help.” Slim jumped from the bed and excitedly opened the window. Wobblytum sat astride the shaft of her broomstick, bobbing in the night air. “Oh curse the broomstick,” she spat as she wobbled nervously, “it keeps going down instead of up.” As the stick flicked backwards and forwards, her crash helmet bounced on her head and her oversized football shirt flapped like a bird with one wing.
Caiti climbed down the ladder from her bed, held her hand out to Wobblytum, and spoke in a way so calm you would think that she often met witches on wobbly broomsticks outside her bedroom window, “Good evening.”
Wobblytum spoke first to Caiti and then at the unstable stick. “Good evening. Oooh, arrrr, stand still you stupid thing.”
“This is my old witch,” said Slim, introducing Caiti, “that’s why I’m blacker than any cat you’ve ever seen, because I was a witch’s cat once.”
“Yes he was and a very good one too. Ooooh,” added Wobblytum, finishing with a scream as the stick made a dive for the lawn, her white Nike trainers kicking on the end of her thin, multi-coloured legs. -
Structure: The book is well structured. It is written in children’s English, with use of words appropriate to the context.
Content: The book is written for fun-loving young readers, in a series of short stories, with a flow-through of one adventure to another.
Reviewer’s Comments: This is a fun book! It is easy to read, entertaining, even for adults, while being understandable down to a young age, and it has good moral values and lessons in a non-didactic way. It is well-suited as a gift for any child who can read, up to mid-teens.