The Secret of Platform 13 is a fun fantasy story set in London, England. Platform 13 contains a secret passageway that opens once ever nine years. On the other side of the doorway (called the “gump”) lies a magical world full of mythical creatures and adorable mistmakers- sort of a cross between a seal and a puppy. This idyllic Island is thrown into chaos when the infant prince is accidently taken through the gump and is kidnapped by someone on the other side! For nine years, the Islanders mourn and then they pull themselves together and find an unlikely team to rescue their prince.
The style of this book reminded me of books set in the 1950’s (much like Half Magic by Edward Eager). And, much like Half Magic, it was a hit with the book club members. When I discussed it with them, they said they thoroughly enjoyed it and that the setting, characters, and plot reminded them very much of Harry Potter (although The Secret of Platform 13 was published several years before Rowling’s series).
I liked the book more than I thought I would, to be honest. The characters are unique and lovable and the plot moves quickly. I also liked the message of the story: anyone with a good heart can be a hero, even if it seems unlikely.
I would recommend this book for tweens who love to read fantasy books. It would be a good choice for tweens who have read the first few books in the Harry Potter series but may be too young for the dark themes in the later books.
Rating: 4 out of 5 lupines.