Title: Ella at Eden: The London Thief
Author: Laura Sieveking
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Published: 1st November 2021
Synopsis: Ella and Grace are off to London to represent Eden College in an international art competition. They’ll be staying in a proper English boarding school, and their art will be on show in a real London gallery.
But then Grace’s artwork goes missing from the exhibit. And so does a multi-million-dollar painting. Are the two thefts connected? Now Ella has two mysteries to solve!
Ella and Grace can’t wait to go to London for the international art show with other schools. They’re staying at Crestwood Hall, and ger to explore London with their new friends, Sara, and Archie – and hopefully win the art competition. They even meet Geoff and Margaret at the gallery, who seem to be so helpful! Yet when Grace’s artwork, and then a priceless painting also goes missing, Ella is determined to solve the mystery – and she needs Grace, Sara, and Archie to help her. Ella is off on a new adventure!
Heading back to Eden was like heading home, and then we got to go off on a new adventure – this time to London! How exciting, especially for Ella, who has never been overseas, and this is a new thing for her – and something she can’t wait to share with Grace either. Each book celebrates friendship, education, the arts, and fun, as well as working together to solve problems and mysteries. Each Ella book does this in new and unique ways, where Ella and the girls she spends her time within each book. I loved that this one took us away from Eden, but still had the spirit of the school at its heart.
Each Ella at Eden book has built on the others and follows a timeline that is taking us through the school year in a fun way, and where we know where we are during the year. I have been reading the Ella books as they come out from the time they started being released by Scholastic, and I love following Ella’s journey. It’s a delightful mix of what kids do these days and what I used to do – and I love that Ella embraces all of these things. It makes her a relatable character to younger readers and older readers who are sharing the books with children in their lives. It allows us to enjoy the new and old and imagine what our world would be like without COVID – as COVID doesn’t exist in the Ella books, and this allows us to have an escape from the reality of the pandemic.
Ella’s art mystery combines her favourite things: art, journalism, and solving mysteries – like her favourite series, Millie Mysteries! She’s such a fantastic character, who isn’t popular but has friends and is comfortable with them. I love that she also loves words and their meanings – and her personality shines through in every book. This book brings all this to the surface in a new setting – and it was awesome to see Ella make new friends and have new experiences – it brought a smile to my face to see Ella achieve a dream she’d had for a long time around travel. And even though we can’t travel a lot right now, it was lovely to see London through Ella’s eyes, and all the sites I know from my trip there years ago.
This is such a fun series, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next, and what Ella does in her next Eden adventure. I love reading boarding school stories, as they all have something different to contribute and give us a new insight into boarding school life and what it is for different people and characters.