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Under the mountain in New Zealand

Book: Under the Mountain by Maurice Gee

Ages: 12+

Relationship to country: A book by a New Zealand author

Book in a nutshell: Twins Rachel and Theo discover they have magical powers to fight scary creatures


I was excited when we got to New Zealand because we had a chapter book planned, and we haven't had a chapter book for a little while now. My mom told me it was going to be a very exciting and adventure filled book. 

The book starts out when twins Rachel and Theo wander off from their parents when they were toddlers. It was a miracle that they survived, and their parents found them sleeping in the forest perfectly warm even though it was freezing out all night long. We can tell that something or someone magical helped them but we don't know about the magic yet. When Rachel and Theo are bigger kids, they go to visit their aunt and uncle near a lake by a volcano in New Zealand. Right away, you can tell that there is something really creepy about the neighbors by their aunt and uncle's house, the Wilberforces, and Rachel and Theo can smell something strange from the lake that no one else can smell.

I read most of the book, and it was really exciting, but it got REALLY SCARY. We decided to put it down for now and come back to it when I'm older. We recommend this one for older kids, maybe over 12.