Young Writers


Do you love writing stories, poems or even whole books? 

On this page you will find . . .

1) My Top Tips for Young Writers

2) A round-up of writing competitions you might like to enter

3) The Story Showcase. This is where I will post all the best stories that readers send in to me. If you are 14 or under, and would like to see your short story or poem displayed on this page, please do send it to me at helen@castlekey.org.uk.

1) My Top Ten Tips for Young Writers


Be nosy
Keep your eyes and ears open for inspiration. Snippets of information from radio, TV, newspapers and even conversations you overhear on the bus can be woven into all kinds of wonderful stories. Just make sure you don't eaves-drop on anything too private!

Read, read, read
The more you read the better your writing will be. And when you have a book with you, you can never be bored. Try reading different genres to sample different writing styles.

Keep writing
As well as being creative, writing is a skill. Like any skill it improves with practise. Try to write as often as you can. Some people find that keeping a journal is a good way to do this.

Harness your inner worrier
(that's worrier, not warrior!)
If you are one of those people who's always thinking 'what if?' and imagining everything going wrong,'then make the most of it!  It's a great way to come up with an idea story. What if my dog was an alien? What if it just carried on raining and never stopped? What if I woke up one day and could only speak in rhyme?

Jot it down
Keep a notebook handy for all those ideas that come to you at odd times of day and night.

Details, details
When you are writing, remember that is is often the specific little details that really draw readers in and make them feel that they are right there with you in the story; the taste of salt in the air when you are by the sea, the feel of your sock rucking up inside your wellies when you are walking, the hum of a computer in a quiet room ....

File it
When you've written a story or poem, sometimes it's tempting just to leave it lying around and move onto the next project - especially if you didn't think it was one of your best efforts. But it's a good idea to keep a file of all your work (on the computer and/or on paper) so that you can go back and look at it again. You'd be surprised at how many ideas you might have for polishing your work when you go back months later and look at  it with fresh eyes. And seeing a lovely big file of work building up helps to give a sense of achievement!

Live!
The more fun and interesting things you do, the more you will have to write about. And it's amazing how often great ideas come to you when you are doing something completely different, like swimming or riding a bike (or even surfing!).

Start a writing club
How about starting a writing club with your friends (the ones who like writing, that is! You might have a problem here if all your friends are only into horse-riding/football/astro-physics!). You could agree on a topic or genre of writing that you all want to work on and get together every week or two to share your writing and give each other feedback. Reading your work out loud to other people is a great way to find out what's working and what isn't. You and your friends might even decide to make your own magazine to showcase your writing for your family and friends.

Enter some competitions
Some people (like me!) find competitions a bit scary, I know, and it's fine if you don't feel ready to enter them, but they can be a great way to set yourself a challenge and really focus your efforts. And you never know, if you're very lucky you might even win a prize! But don't worry if you don't win. A big part of being a writer is persevering and never giving up!

I've given more tips on writing in this blog post on this website.

For some more top tips on writing short stories, see these from author Morris Gleitzman on the Guardian Children's Book website . . .
And here is a another really useful set of tips on writing on the time trips website.

There are lots of links to writing tip websites on this on the Girls Heart Books website - and this one too, all about using the word "said"  (PS. Girls Heart Books -is not just for girls.

There are some great writing tips (and lots of other fun stuff) on author Chitra Soundar's website here.

For lots more amazing tips on writing stories from top authors including Liz Pichon and Jacqueline Wilson, have a look at the storycraft page on the World Book Day website.


2) Competitions Round-up

In case you do fancy a competition or two I've listed a few exciting ones below . . .

Summer Reading Challenge Describe a Sneaky Suspect Competition

"You can be as imaginative and creative as you like – the Animal Agents need a good description to help them find this new mischief-maker!"
Send them your description of a brand new Sneaky Suspect and you could WIN some brilliant books, including some by the one and only TONY ROSS

Find out all about it and how to enter here.
Closing date, 6th Sept 2017.

Jaqueline Wilson Creative Writing Competition 2017 


If you are between seven and twelve years old, by 8th September 2017, you are eligible to enter this fabulous competition. To enter, you need to 'write a letter to someone who lives far away’, just like Shirley does in Jacqueline's new book, Wave Me Goodbye. Letters should be no longer than 750 words long and cannot feature real characters or events, so fire up your imagination!

One lucky winner will have their letter published in an upcoming Jacqueline Wilson novel! They will also receive £100 worth of books, a year’s subscription to First News, a book bundle for their school AND the chance to meet Jacqueline Wilson! Find out how to enter here.

Young Walter Scott Prize

The Young Walter Scott Prize is the UK’s only creative writing prize dedicated to historical fiction.  If you are aged between 11 and 19, and have a story to tell that is set in the past, this prize is for you! Deadline for entries is October 2017, so you've got all summer to perfect your story. Find out how to enter here.


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3) Story Showcase

On my recent visit to Bishop Martin Primary School in Liverpool I was stunned by the amazing writing that some of the Y5 children shared with me. I was delighted when one of the students, Anna McArdle sent me her story. I think you'll agree that it's an exceptionally moving and powerful piece of writing. Well done, Anna and thank you for sharing this with us.


It was a dull, gloomy day on January 28th 1942. I was on my way to Morning Orders at 5.30, yet unfortunately I wasn’t excited. As soon as I arrived at the meeting point (the tent), I felt anger sweep across me, I hated the tent. Inside it was muddy, uncomfortable, dark and small; not the kind of place where I wanted to be. All the soldiers were asleep and how I wished I could be with them, but no I was a medic not a soldier. I felt aggrieved. At least there was one good thing about being a medic, I could help new arrivals.

Today I was told to help a fellow medic called Private Geoff Carr, who was about 20 years old. A few days earlier, I had asked for some new uniform because mine had been ripped and ruined. They said they would deliver it, however, they never did.

Finally the Morning Orders were over. It felt amazing, though the temperature was freezing. My whole body was shivering; it was ice cold. The trees were covered with a blanket of thick snow. In the distance, my eyes were drawn to a spider’s web, glistening with the morning frost. I couldn’t take my eyes off something so beautiful which made me feel sad. War has the habit of destroying all the beautiful little things in life. Still I kept on walking, with the sound of gunfire ahead.

Just then, I arrived at the battle-field and quickly climbed into the trench. It was far worse than the meeting tent. Mud was oozing around me and what grass was left had been well worn and trampled. Soldiers, with wounds, were slouching in the trench, clutching their guns. Although being in the trench was miserable, we felt hidden and safe from the enemy.

I looked around and saw Private Geoff. We quickly clambered out of the trench and hid behind a clump of rocks. Suddenly my belt got stuck and I couldn’t move. I felt helpless; if only they had replaced my uniform when I had asked. I saw Geoff signalling me. Uncertain about what he meant, I nodded my head, to show that I was okay. Just at that moment...BANG!

 Geoff was lying motionless on the floor; bleeding and breathing heavily.

It seemed a while before I could release my belt and reach him. I felt numbed of emotion and just held his hand. His voice was weak and I could only just about hear his last few words asking me to tell his Mum that he loved her. I stayed with him, heart-broken and traumatised. He passed away and I could have prevented it.

A few years later, I found myself travelling to see Geoff’s Mum. I had no idea what I was going to say to her. Slowly but surely I knocked on the big oak door, my hand trembling. A well-dressed lady answered the door. I told her who I was and explained what had happened to her son on that dark January day in 1942. She dropped to her knees, put her hand on her heart and wept. I tried to comfort her but as the memories came back, I too was caught in grief. She was grateful for my visit. I left, feeling that I had done my duty but still wondering whether I could have done more for her son.

That was a memory I will never forget! 
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I really enjoyed reading this exciting short story sent to me by Heidi.
There's lots of suspense as we follow her on her strange adventure - especially as she descends the dark stairs to the candle-lit cellar. I can almost smell the animal fat. And there's a great cliff-hanger ending too . . . where did that candle come from?
What a powerful piece of writing - especially as Heidi is only seven years old.


Heidi’s Amazing Adventure


On the day of my adventure, I awoke, yawned and stretched, as I always did. Suddenly, I heard a loud rumbling.  I peeped out of my tent, and I saw a shining hole in front of the tent.
Nervously I stepped into the hole. Shivering with fear I saw lots of places in front of me.  Some places were countries and some were back in time. It all looked breath taking, but a little scary too.
I stepped backwards towards my tent, but instead of my tent I fell into TV World. I closed my eyes in fear and when I opened them lots of cameramen surrounded me. I was scared I had no way out of this crowd. Then someone clicked their fingers and the crowd was gone. I was alone at last, but not in my tent.
A minute later I saw a house appear in a cloud of mist. Nervously I stepped inside the house. I heard the door creak shut behind me. I knew it was old then! I spotted some stairs leading downwards and decided to have a look. The stairs led to a dark cellar, with only candles lighting it. The light was very dim and the candles made a horrible smell. Entering a very little room I saw it was full of candles, and they were made from animal fat. That was the smell!
When I left the room I saw some people and tried to ask for directions. They just ignored me like I wasn’t there. I thought to myself “Maybe I’m in a dream?” The people disappeared as fast as they had appeared. In their place was the shining light. The thought came to me that maybe this was the same hole. I heard a noise behind me. When I looked around I saw a lion coming towards me very quickly. There was no time to lose. I jumped into the hole, falling with a thud into my tent.
I opened my eyes and found it was all a dream. But where did that candle come from…
                                  Written by Heidi Haine aged 7

 

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Here is a fabulous piece of writing sent in by Sophie Spree. I love the way that Sophie uses such a wide variety of ways to describe the agony of waiting for something (I think everyone will recognise that feeling, when time seems to stand still)  and then the ending that is so moving and really makes you think. Well done. Sophie, and thank you for sharing this really original story with us.


IT'S LIKE... NOTHING ON EARTH!
Waiting. Isn't it just the worst thing?
Right now it seems like there's nothing to do, apart from wait. That's why I've resorted to note book
and pen.
It's like waiting in a traffic jam, when you're going on holiday.
It's like being really, hungry and Mum says 'only an hour 'til dinner'
It's like being in the waiting room at the doctors' surgery waiting to hear your name.
It's like waiting for Christmas, when you're really young.
It's like waiting for a loose tooth to just fall out.
It's like waiting for your favourite band to release another album.
It's like waiting for toast to cook at breakfast time, when your starving.
It's like waiting for the bathroom when someone else is taking forever.
It's like waiting for your favourite author to publish another book.
It's like being in an exam and just waiting for the teacher to call time.
It's like waiting for the kettle to boil.
It's like waiting to cross the road at rush hour on a cold, wet and windy day.
It's like lying there, just waiting for the dentist to find fault with your teeth.
It's like being ill and just waiting, in bed to recover.
It's like when your best mate goes away, simply waiting for him to return.
It's like waiting 51 weeks until you can go back to THAT amazing camp/holiday resort.
It's like waiting until the holidays or half term so you can have a lengthy break from school.
It's like waiting to turn 16 so you can leave school.
It's like reading a really long, boring novel, because you've been told to, and just waiting for the
end.
It's like being driven through a long tunnel, holding your breath, just waiting to see the end, so it's
light again.
It's like waiting for it to stop raining, so you can go play outside again.
It's like waiting on a phone call from a distant friend or relative.
It's like waiting on Christmas day, until you can open all your presents.
It's like standing around, waiting for the 2 minutes silence to be over.
It's like waiting for your phone to charge up again, so you can use it.
It's like waiting to be asked out on a date. (from a girl's perspective)
It's like being at a family reunion meal and just waiting to be excused from the table.
It's like being really tired at your parents' party and waiting to be allowed to go to bed.
It's like watching a poor game of football, waiting for your hero to score an amazing goal.
It's like listening to a song and just waiting for the intro to end so that the best bit can begin.
It's like playing hockey and just waiting for your moment to shine.
It's like trying to sleep, in the tent in the rain, and just waiting for the moment that you get wet.
It's like playing ultimate frisbee and just waiting to get your hands on it.
It's like waking up to the smell of bacon, and waiting for it to be cooked to perfection.
It's like toasting a marshmallow over a BBQ and waiting for it to turn the perfect colour.
It's like making something and waiting ages for it to cook.
It's like heating something in the microwave and waiting for it to be piping hot.
It's like waiting for the dishwasher to complete its cycle so you can get out a bowl for your cereal.
It's like squeezing the toothpaste tube really hard, just waiting for the last remnants to plop out.
It's like watching adverts in the cinema, waiting for the actual film to start.
It's like turning the oven up to a higher temperature and then waiting until it's ready.
It's like having a sweet and waiting for the sherbet to burst out.
It's like painting something and waiting for it to dry.
It's like being in a plane, waiting for take off.
It's like waiting for the train on a freezing platform.
It's like walking up a hill, waiting to reach the top.
It's like being given a disgusting plate of food and just waiting until you've eaten the lot.
It's like waiting for a slow computer to turn on.
It's like being in a long queue at KFC.
It's like getting your hair cut too short and waiting for it to grow back a little bit.
It's like waiting for the Boxing Day sales so you can buy something expensive, cheaper.
It's like waiting up 'til midnight to see the new year in.
It's like throwing your favourite hoodie in the wash and waiting for it to come back clean.
But worse, the waiting I'm doing now is worse. Probably worse than all those things put together.
This is a matter of life and death.
My sister is in a room just across the hall from me. I'm just waiting to be called back in and told the
consultant's verdict. Will she live? Or die? I just can't believe what has happened. And that we are
now here, watching my sister on the brink of death. I can't believe how useless I feel, knowing I
can't do anything at all, well, except try my best to comfort Mum. She's just standing by Emily's bed
the whole time. I could swear she hasn't had anything to eat in at least 24 hours. And the best I can
do is let her lean on my shoulder to cry, and give her the odd tissue.
Of course, something I can always do - but don't often think about, is pray. Because I know God
cares about my sister, my Mum and me. It's totally amazes me, that God almighty, the creator of
heaven and earth, cares about me and my family, and even listens to MY prayers! ☺
I guess I'd better turn to prayer now, and then I'll see if Mum wants a coffee.


By the way, Sophie says this is a purely fictional piece, in case anyone is worried about her sister.
 ***


I was so thrilled to receive this wonderful news report from the Carrickstowe Times by Charlotte. If you've read The Mystery of the Vanishing Skeleton you'll know all about this incident and about the journalist, Jennifer Jones. I think Charlotte would make a brilliant journalist too! I especially like the dramatic headline and sub-headings!





Farmer devastated by rabbit escape horror
On 26th of February approximately 3 p.m. someone let 20 prize-winning rabbits into the wild. The rabbits were owned by Mrs White (60) and Victoria White (23). “I just don’t know why anyone would go around letting rabbits loose!” said visibly upset Victoria White. When Mrs White ended her shift in the library she was very troubled by the rabbit escape horror.
Local kids save the day!
Luckily Emily Wild (11) and Scott and Jack Carter (11 and12) were to the rescue! With Emily’s dog Drift they managed to sniff out all the lost rabbits. “I am so relieved!” said Mrs White. “I thought they’d be lost forever!” she continued.
A skeleton twist in the tale
Laura Roberts (15) was riding in the fields at the time of incident. “I saw a skeleton” said worried Laura.
Members of the local public are worried. An anonymous member says “What if this is the start of a crime streak! I blame those hoodwinks!” 
By Jessica Jones reporter for Carrickstowe times

Here are some wonderful new stories written by the children at North Kidlington Primary School after my visit in October. I challenged them to write a whole story, with characters, setting, goals, obstacles and resolution in just 100 words. It's not easy! But they've done a great job. Some wonderfully imaginative stories here by very talented writers. Well done, everyone!



by Aman

by Ebo

by Finlay

by Idris

by Jennifer

by Lucy

by Nikol

by Susannah






Here are some great new mystery short stories, featuring some of the Adventure Island characters, written by the very talented pupils of Sheering Primary School.

Well done, everyone! I really enjoyed visiting your school and reading your work too.
Thank you for sending me your stories.

It's a big challenge to fit a whole mystery into just a few hundred words, and I think you've all done a brilliant job.



The Mystery of the Stolen Money
by Erin

“Fetch Drift” shouted Emily as threw the stick further into the rocks. Drift went racing after and soon came back with the stick in his mouth. She took the stick and carried on walking along the rocks. Later Emily threw the stick again and drift went after it but soon disappeared.
Feeling nervous Emily started running to find drift. She searched the entire rocks when her foot got stuck in a ditch. Emily looked down she saw her foot drift and a big blue bag. The bag contained round about £10,000 and a pizza leaflet. Emily took the bag so it didn’t fall into the wrong hands. As she got up she noticed footprints prints in the sandy path. They followed them. It led to a pizza van in the car park. The leaflet and the van was from the same restaurant.
Later that day Emily was watching the news when an urgent message came up. £10,000 was stolen from the earlier that day. She picked up the bag and raced to the bank to return the money. Emily so wanted to know who the thief was and she just knew how.....
Once Emily had finished at the bank her and drift went to find the pizza place (Cheesy pizza). It wasn’t  long before she found the place it was almost directly opposite the bank. Drift had to be left behind whilst Emily had a look around. (He wasn’t happy)
Emily decided she would ask some of the employees some questions and see their reaction. There seemed to be no weird reactions until the last man. She asked him if he knew anything about the stolen money. He completely ignored Emily, but as he turned away she noticed sand in his shoes. So Emily asked him again and he replied I might know him. She ask him more questions and stared at him until he finally gave in and admitted it was him.
Emily had recorded there chat and took a photo of the man and sent it to the police. The next morning her and drift watched the news when they were talking about the thief and that he had been arrested. Emily gave a sigh of relief and turned  to drift and said “Well done drift now we can carry on with that walk!”     
      



The mystery of the stolen treasure!
by Caimen

“Speed up Drift shouted,” shouted Emily. They were strolling through thick lumpy mud. The sun was out and Emily and Drift were sweating like pigs, the children were heading for home, after some would say an everlasting walk. As she scanned the forest for her home, she noticed something. In the distance, she detected some people entering the volcano of DOOM! No one has entered the volcano for over 2,000,000 years, “who do you think it is drift?” Emily asked.
Emily took off her binoculars and called drift by her side. She ran over to the volcano .Unfortunately the thief’s had disappeared as quick as a flash. After that Emily zoomed into the volcano and Drift barked loudly. Drift had just found a coin that had been dropped and left behind. Soon after Emily admired the glinting coin,  then she realised, it had finger prints on it .”Drift you may have just found us our suspects,” Emily gasped.
 Once Emily had the finger print she left the volcano. Emily decided she may need a bit of help feeling nervous, she took Drift along with her to the police station. She told the head of the police department that the treasure in the volcano had been stolen, by a couple of the city’s most wanted criminals. It was no use. The police didn’t believe her. “we are  going to have to do this on our own Drift,” sighed Emily.
Later that day Emily   had a spectacular idea, she would stick a chest with nothing in it, under a tree so the robbers think they are going to make off with a load of cash. Emily had the net in place, ready to catch the criminals.
Soon after the robbers spied, what they thought was gold and they snuck closer and closer, checking if anyone was there
Eventually they were there and YANK! She pulled the rope and the criminals were caught. “Get me out of here!” shouted the robbers. Drift kept guard while Emily rung the police. After a period of time the police arrived and the robbers were jailed for life. “I’m sorry I didn’t believe you the first place,” said the head of the police department.
“Drift we caught our suspects,” cheered Emily.




The mystery of the missing diamonds
by Hannah

     “Drift! Slow down”, pleaded Emily. She was panting heavily while running with her Labrador dog, Drift. The rain was gushing down and soaking Emily’s jumper. However, Drift was oblivious to the weather. “What’s that?” Emily muttered to herself. Once the poster was in view, Emily observed the words in front of her.“Oh no. That’s awful,” she cried.
       Standing in shock, Emily whistled for Drift. Even though he was only a dog, drift knew what the unfortunate words meant.  A set of one- of-a kind diamonds had been stolen from the local museum.                         
     “Why would someone be so selfish?” Emily whispered under her breath. Drift gazed at Emily as she spoke. His eyes agreed with her.  Beside the smashed museum window, where the diamonds stood, a wallet was dropped. An ancient wallet. That gave Emily the impression the thief was old! Inside the wallet, there were many credit cards: some with details on; some without.
       Looking closely at one of the credit cards, Emily noticed some specific details such as: his name; his date of birth; his religion and many others. Apart from one. Where he worked. That made Emily’s mission a bit harder. Suddenly, a thought occurred to her. The only option was to stay in the museum and see if anyone comes in to hide the diamond. Whoever comes in, (if the details match), is the robber.
     In what seemed like a moment later, Emily and Drift were hiding in the storage cupboard of the museum. They were sure the robber was going to arrive to hide the diamonds, it had happened many times before. Emily and Drift stood in silence. Despite the fact they were both nervous and wanted to flee, they were determined so they stuck to it. However, they hadn’t thought it all through. “What if the robber catches us?” Emily spoke nervously to drift. We are about to find out, Emily thought as her face filled with nerves.
     A key lock was turned. Emily peered round and saw it was the robber. Quickly, she called the police, who arrived within seconds. The thief had no idea he was being spied on. Emily’s face filled with horror as his identity was revealed. It was the museum owner. “Caught red handed!” Emily said proudly to Drift. “Perhaps next time I will walk you a different way!”



The mystery of the missing Locket
by Sophie

“Hurry up we have to get home!”Cried Emily. She was walking through the stone village at a quick pace.
“All right, all right!” called back Scott, “we will be there soon.”As the rain began to pelt down Emily spotted something in the shadows of the wide dustbin. The two children approached the shadow anxiously.
“What is it?”Questioned Scott.

Crouching down, Emily stared at the emerald encrusted locket.
“It’s a locket!” exclaimed Emily. After a moment she stood holding it in her palm of her hand. Once they exchanged some looks, Scott snatched it out her hand. Scott pressed the rectangular button on the side of the locket. This opened the metal locket to reveal an old tattered photo. Emily peered closer to observe the women who sat in the photo. She knew who was in it.
Racing across the village in the pouring rain, Emily was positive she knew who it belonged to. At last they came to a wooden door with an icy cold handle. She took a breath. Shaking Emily lifted her fist to knock. After a short while the door squeaked open, a young girl peered at them.
“I think I have something of yours,” spoke Emily staring straight in to her eyes. Quietly the young girl led them into her small humble home. Taking off their rain macs, the two children sat. Cupping her hands, Emily handed over the locket.
“Thank you I’ve been searching everywhere for it,” cried the girl.
“Now we can get home,” said Emily.




The mystery of the found money!
by Jessica

“Come on Drift” Emily shouted from the other side of the beach. My feet were burning into the hot sand; she saw the sun shining onto my shoulders. We were heading home after an everlasting walk on the beach.
“Hurry up Drift” Emily moaned. She went to take another step forward when Emily hit my foot on something. She bent down to pick it up however it was dug into the sand where it had been washed up to shore. As she picked it up she gave a little glimpse at everyone to make sure no-one was looking. It was a tiny treasure chest!
As she scooped it up from the sand a soggy letter came up with it. Emily’s face lit up as this was the first detective thing she had ever found. When she peered more closely she could start to see more writing on the letter. Drift ran over to Emily and was barking for attention. Emily knew something was not right. She quickly stuffed the treasure chest and letter into her bag and jogged over to g
 “I don’t think I can do this on my own lets go to the police” Emily said to Drift.
Afterwards Emily had an idea. She would go and ask to look at the CCTV camera to find out who the mystery person is. Even though Emily was feeling nervous, Emily knew she could get the robber. When she thought about the treasure chest, there could be something in it! She ran upstairs to her bag opened it up and there it was..... MONEY with a person’s name on. However when   she realised it was her second name she broke down in tears! This could be my mum and dad she thought. She ran outside in her flip flops to the police station. Once she saw the CCTV her face was not shocked...... it was her dad.
Later that day when her mum and dad got back from work Emily stood outside with an angry face looking like she was going to attack.
“What’s wrong darling.” Emily told him and Mr Wormwood was charged also done nothing like it again. That night Emily told Drift “ I don’t think we will be doing that route again” and started laughing.



THE MISTORY OF THE MISSING RUBY!!
by Demi

“Everyone line up,” said the teacher .They all walked excitedly into the museum. Often Emily would run straight to her favourite section first but this time she didn’t .She loved everything. It came to the end of the tour and they went to see the rubies. She could see her reflection in it. Miss T gathered everyone together Emily turned around. The ruby was gone. “OH NO!”

Gazing at the empty glass box, Emily saw that the ruby had disappeared. The thief must have got away quickly. Later on that day, Emily was looking for some clues. Beside the box there was a footprint. It looked like a size five. Emily thought any one can have size five feet. “Now this looks interesting,” cried Emily. There was a fingerprint on the window where he or she must have climbed out.

Carefully, Emily scanned the fingerprint. It said that the fingerprint belonged to Scott Backer. Scott Backer was always looking for trouble. He lived in the abandoned light house. Emily strolled up the hill to the light house. Eventually, she reached the top of the hill. She knocked on the door. A voice echoed around the building saying “GO AWAY.”Angrily, she pushed the door. It opened.

Slyly, Emily sneaked into the lighthouse. Scott Backer was cleaning the ruby so she called the police. They came to take him to prison. Now the class could go back to the museum. 



The Mystery of The Missing Ruby
by Harry
“Come on Drift, we need to get home to watch the news!” Emily shouted. Mrs G ran the sweet shop in Bishops Lane and had told them some breaking news! They had to get home fast to see it for themselves. As Emily was running she pulled out her bag of Liquorish Allsorts. She gave one to Drift for a bit of motivation to get home more quickly. She slammed her house door shut and switched on the TV. There it was! A ruby from the Volcano of Doom was had been reported missing, stolen; Emily looked at Drift with a distinct look. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking? We have a mystery to solve!”
Emily and Drift ran round the corner of Bishops Lane as quickly as they could! When they turned their faces dropped. The Volcano of Doom had been robbed. Emily searched for some clues in a one mile radius. Drift started to bark so Emily rushed over. The sewer gate was opened with footprints leading through. “Drift, we may have found ourselves a suspect!” They wondered through the sewer whilst holding their noses. The smell was rotten and reminded Emily of Old Scrats cloths. Emily realised that it could of have been Scrat who took the missing ruby. She wondered a bit more in the pitch black sewer, trudging along in thick brown sludge. They came to a padlocked door. The lock was new and gold coloured. This wasn’t an old lock so they knew whoever stole the ruby was trying to stop the police from finding them. Old Scrat owns a lock store down Bishops Lane next door to Mrs G’s sweet shop. “Drift, we’re on to something!”
“I’ll be back later Ma!” Emily shouted through the corridor. Emily and Drift wanted to chat with Old Scrat to see if he was suspicious. But first they wanted to speak to Mrs G, to ask is she had seen Scrat running of two places and panicking when the police drive by. The bell ran on the door when they walked into the old sweet shop. “Hello Emily” Mrs G warmly greeted them in a soft voice. They asked her if she had seen Old Scrat but she didn’t want to say much. All she said was that he dropped himself in the other day and left a key. “He said not to give it to anyone but I’m guessing you want to study it.” Mrs G said to Emily in a cold voice knowing what they would say! Mrs G pulled out a safe then dialled a combination into the keypad. “Here you go, keep it. You need it more than me! Old Scrat said it leads to the sewer near the Volcano of Doom”                                                          “Thank you Mrs G, we’re done here for now” Emily thanked Mrs G. Drift and Emily raced to the sewer. They unlocked the door with the key and walked inside. There was Scrat placing the ruby back onto the stand! He made a run for the door but Drift pounced in front of him. “No point of running now! We know it’s you who stole the ruby and now you will pay.” Emily shouted across the room. She called the police and Old Scrat was arrested! The missing ruby was back where it belonged! “Come on Drift, let’s go and get some Liquorish Allsorts!” Emily laughed!


******************************************************

A wonderful poem sent into the Adventure Island website by Agent 123. I just love this! Thank you, Agent 123.


If I had a week in Castle Key,
I'd ask Emily to row me out to sea,
Where I'll watch the whistling caves then go to see
If any Saxon artifacts have been stolen recently.
If i had a week in Castle Key,
I'd spy on a ghost then happily
Talk to a film star while behind a tree,
And set of a fire alarm to scare away the police.
If I had a week in Castle Key,
I'd go to Gull.'s island just to see,
All criminals on there and count to 3,
As a very dangerous bullet whizzes after me.
If I had a week in Castle Key,
I'd investigate a very strange robbery, 
Stake out like a pigeon up a tree,
And jump on a ruthless art thief.
If I had a week in Castle Key,
I'd investigate a cursed ruby,
I'd stop it being sold for a whopping great fee,
And hide in a jar while a sword brushes me.
If I had a week in Castle Key,
I'd watch a skeleton commit robbery
I'd meet a reporter and wish she were me, 
That's what I'd do in Castle Key!



Here is a brilliantly exciting new animal story sent in by Rose Brennan. I can't wait to read the next instalment and find out what happens to Lupus and the fox cubs.






Chapter 1
The vixen carried her cubs to a nearby den and set them down. She knew the hunters and their vicious dogs were not far off; a baying howl from the leader suggested they were on to the vixen's scent. Her leg was pained from where the trap had caught her. Breathing heavily, the vixen ran away from the fumbling cubs - they would be safer if she was away. The howling was coming closer now, and as much as she ran, the wolf-dogs were coming closer. Shouts from the hunters echoed around the fox as she ran, an arrow shot past her head and rooted itself in the tree beside her. The black wolf-dog leader had caught up and grabbed the fox around the waist like it was some sort of rabbit or prey. The vixen screeched and tried to fight back, but a silent arrow through the trees was the last thing she saw.


Lupus moved slowly through the trees, his bow ready for an attack. His father had galloped off at first scent of the poor creature, and just left thoroughly bored Lupus stuck in the clearing! A stone fell to the ground near a small hole, where a little nose advanced from. Lupus walked forwards, his bow still drawn. Curiously, he put his hand on the creature's head, and stroked it. Scurries from the back of the den made it clear that this was not the only cub. Lupus looked around for any sign of the mother of the fox; only a trail of blood gave it away that the poor vixen had been caught in a snare. He grimaced and picked up the cub, who squirmed in his grasp. Carefully he put the cub in his furry coat. Lupus took the other cubs too and made his way back to the clearing.







Chapter 2
Polaris, Arcturus and Apus tumbled round on the stone floor. They growled, bit and clawed each other in a frantic attempt to get to the water and meat on the other side of the room. Polaris left his two fighting brothers and started the run towards the food and drink. After the little meal, he sat down quite contented and watched his brothers fighting. Suddenly, a stamping sound echoed up the staircase to their owners room. The boys eyes grew wide. "Run, anywhere! Quick!" Lupus whispered waving his arms around. Polaris ducked under the bed, while Arcturus and Apus scrambled under the wooden side board. The key clicked in the lock and the maid entered. "Come to collect you're wat- " The maid stopped in mid sentence. She stared at Lupus like some sort of alien trying to figure out where it was. "Do you feel alright dear? You're as white as a sheet!" she said putting her hand to Lupus's head. Lupus nervously leant back against the wall. "I am fine, no cause of worry!" Lupus said quickly, as he pushed the maid out of the room. He locked the door and sighed. It was getting harder to look after the foxes every second. Lupus grabbed a bit of parchment and a quill and began to draw a map of the castle. He had a plan for the Apus, Arcturus and Polaris.

  



  
Chapter 3
It was pitch black when he Lupus finished the map. He had planned the escape perfectly. Some bits he had overlooked, like getting back into the castle, because it would be so easy to do. Lupus was the King's son after all! But, he hated his dad. The King had done terrible things to people he was friends with. Lupus grabbed his bow and quiver. He waited for the cubs to fall asleep, before packing them up inside a basket covered in cloth. Advancing towards the door, Lupus suddenly had a brilliant thought. He could stay with the cubs in the forest! Swiftly, he packed the fur bag at the end of his bed with fur blankets, a pouch of coins, a quill, parchment and ink, the wooden fox model and his mother's fossilised sap necklace. Lupus looked around the room for the last time and set off down the stairs with the bag and the cubs, tucked up and safe.


******************************************************
The Adventure Island Mystery Writing Competition challenged young writers to come up with an original new story featuring a new case for Scott, Jack, Emily and Drift. The standard of entries was amazingly high. Here is the winning story, The Mystery of the Impsossible Kidnappers by Emma (aka Agent 123), followed by the other five shortlisted runner-up entries. Congratulations to all of you for such exciting mysteries. I particularly loved the way you all captured the personalities of the characters with lots of fun and fast-paced dialogue.

All the winners received signed Adventure Island books - and also I'd like to offer you all a cake to celebrate!




The Mystery of the Impossible Kidnapers
by Agent 123


         “Hey, boys –take a look at this…”
         Aunt Kate was behind a large, rumpled newspaper, humming quietly to herself and taking no notice of the boys whatsoever, so when she made this remark, Scott and Jack approached the newspaper curiously.
They stopped as a loud, urgent knock came from the door.
         “Have you heard?” squealed Emily, her sparkling brown eyes alive with sheer excitement.    
“It’s here, see,” said Aunt Kate slowly, holding up her newspaper.
“A kidnap in castle key?”
                                           ***
         “Think – alibi, motive, opportunity, alibi, motive, opp-“
“Quit it, Em,” snapped Jack, peering out from his hands.
The four of them (including Drift) were gathered around Emily’s Dad’s laptop. Or rather, Scott had his hand firmly on the pad while Emily and Jack were fighting for a view.
         To cheer himself up, Jack aimed a kick at Emily’s leg.  Immediately, he knew he had made a mistake. Emily was just about to corner him with a series of impressive kick boxing moves when Scott leapt up.
         “I’ve got it! Yeah! ”
         “What has Einstein found this time?” Jack sneered, although he leaned towards Scott with curiosity. Scott ignored this. 
         “Look. I’ve got a map of Castle Key. I found out there has been a kidnap before! I looked at the locations, and I think it forms some sort of pattern…”
Emily leaned over Scott’s shoulder.
         “I can’t see anything,” she said.
Jack gaped. Emily? Not notice something? Impossible!
         “Let’s print the map out,” suggested Scott. “Then I can show you.”
***

         Drift watched glumly as his three friends rushed around a large whirring box, pushing paper into it, fiddling with it and getting all-round excited. He liked excitement, yet only when there was something to be excited about.
 And, as far as Drift was concerned, nothing was exciting about boxes.
  Drift yawned and went in the general direction of the kitchen. He knocked his food down, yawned, and padded back to the circular lounge.
  Meanwhile, Emily poured over the familiar map of her home. Scott had drawn crosses where the kidnaps had taken place, and Emily’s investigative cogs were whirring.
Suddenly, something clicked.
Emily disappeared upstairs, reappearing with a small piece of paper clutched in her hand. Scott stared at her, mystified.
         “Isn’t that the symbol of that estate agent on the mainland?”
         “Yes!”
Jack gasped. His eyes became saucers and his mouth became a comical o.
         “That….isn’t that pattern on the map when you put the dots in the place of the kidnaps?”
         “Yes! Yes! Yes! Go get your bikes – we’re of to Carrickstowe!”
                                         ***
         Scott arched his back like a cat, celebrating the glorious April sunshine. He watched as Jack did a content wheelie, his bike winking at the sun, beside Emily, whose chestnut hair flew out behind her. Drift’s ears were doing the same. He sighed. Bliss!
         Scott’s dreamy thoughts were interrupted by a yell.
          “Hey you guys! Were ya going?”
Scott looked at Jack. Jack looked at Scott.
         “Oh, just a trip to Carricstowe,” Emily said.
         “Without me?!”
The owner of the voice was a glamorous woman with auburn hair, twinkling green eyes and huge sunglasses on her head. She looked like a movie star.       
         “Meet Emerald!” grinned Emily, “she’s staying at the Lighthouse.”
Emerald smiled and walked away.
                                             ~
“Here we are,” announced Emily, “at Seny & co, Carrickstowe.”
“Not very cheerful.”
Emily took a deep breath and yanked at the door that led to a gloomy corridor. It stayed put.
         “Locked!” she breathed.
         “Its push, Em.”
         “Oh.”
Emily’s hands were sweating. She shivered.
Jack led the way into the unwelcoming building. The long corridor gave way to an empty reception room.  A sign stood on the desk.
         “Sorry, we can not be with you today.”
         “Look, the desk has dust on it…”
The friends carried on through the rooms. It was like a normal estate agents office- pictures of houses, piles of paperwork- nothing unusual.
         Until they found a back room.
         Emily went into a new room. Behind it was a locked door. From the door came a thin, piping voice.
         “Oh help, help me….”
Emily felt a scream forming in her throat. Before it could come, she had scooped up Drift and sprinted out the door, on her bike in two seconds flat.
         “Wha-?” chorused the boys. She had already gone.
         “This sure is one mystery…”
                          

THE END
( or is it ?????)




The mystery of the locked                                                                                     door
By agent Snowy_owl10

“Woof!” barked Drift pawing at Emily’s knee. She had her nose in Survival Tips for Secret Agents, how to survive a snakebite. “Yep! You’re right, time for your walk” she said. Soon they were walking along the beach when Drifts brilliant doggy nose picked up the scent of one of his worst enemies. A squirrel. And he was off like a shot. The squirrel, Drift and Emily tore along the beach until the squirrel made its getaway by climbing up some ivy clinging to the cliff where Drift began scrabbling frantically. “The squirrel’s gone Drift” she panted, “that’s just the cliff.” She pulled away some ivy to reveal… a wooden door.

Scott and Jack raced along the lane to the lighthouse. They had just received a text from Emily telling them to come immediately. “Woof!” barked Drift joyfully bounding towards the boys. “Whoa there, Drifty! You’d think you haven’t seen us in years!”
 “Jack, Scott! You’re here!” called Emily suddenly appearing notebook and pencil in hand. Soon they were sitting round a table with three bowls of ice cream and Jack, who had finished his ice cream in about two minutes and will soon be asking for more, saw the open page in Emily’s note book and said “operation door!?!”
 “Yes, I found, well Drift found it actually,”
“What, the front door of the lighthouse?” said Jack.
“Do you have to work at being so thick?” She asked annoyed.
 “I think it comes naturally” said Scott preparing to dodge the push that was about to come and fight back.
 “Don’t fight. Anyway,” continued Emily, “Drift found a door in the cliff and I think you probably want to investigate with me, so do you want to go and see the door?”

They cycled along the road to the beach. Soon they were at big patch of ivy on the cliff where the door was hidden. “The door has these tiles on it with letters on them I think it’s to put in a password or something” said Emily pointing them out.
“Why is there a door in the cliff anyway? Asked Jack.
“No idea,” replied Emily.
“Wait what’s this?” asked Jack pointing at some letters carved into the door.
“It looks like a code” said Emily writing it in her notebook
“Why don’t we go to stone cottage and try to crack it?”
“Ok” and they cycled to stone cottage where Aunt Kate was taking gingerbread out the oven. They sat around the table with a plate of warm gingerbread pouring over the page in Emily’s notebook where she had written the code. Ri iowb rgw siie aikew rgw eusskw kicwkt lbs eiybs u agubw qurg olkw kufgr feiqb ub rgw slejbwaa l klst;a swkufgr
“Well, I think that w is e so I’ll rub out the w‘s and put in e’s” said Emily “and I think that the rgw’s are the’s” said Jack through a mouthful of gingerbread and the code then looked like this ti ioeb the siie aikee the eusske kicekt lbs eiybs u agube quth olke kufhr feiqb ub the slejbeaa l klst;a sekufht.
“Scott don’t you have any ideas?” asked Emily.
“What? I think it has something to do with computers…” said Scott “I’ve got it! I’ll just go and check can I have the notebook?”
He ran to Aunt Kats computer with the notebook followed by Jack and Emily.
“I’ve solved the code!” yelled Scott.
“How?!?” asked Emily.
“Look at the keyboard r is behind t and I is behind o so the first word is to!”
“I see!” said Emily “so the code says, to open the door solve the riddle, lovely and round, I shine with pale light, grown in the darkness, a lady’s delight.”
“I think I know this one” said Jack “yeah, I’ve heard it before it’s pearl!”
“Great lets go and se what’s behind that door!”

To be continued…

The Mystery of the Smugglers’ Crates

by Maddy Johnson

Emily shook beach sand out of her long, brown hair. ‘Could I have my second cupcake please, Jack?’
‘Er, it doesn’t seem to be in the picnic basket, Em,’ Jack said, looking guilty.
‘That’s because you ate it,’ Scott retorted lazily. ‘Greedy guts.’
Jack socked his big brother in the arm. ‘Well, I thought there must have been an extra one! I didn’t want to waste it!’
Drift scrabbled over the tussling brothers happily; they were such fun to play with! Emily began writing in her notebook.
‘What is it?’ Scott asked, shoving Jack off him.
‘That boat. It comes and goes at odd times.’
‘It’s obvious,’ Jack announced. ‘They’re smugglers.
‘There is that possibility,’ Emily said airily. Jack regularly teased her, just because she dreamed of catching a smuggling ring!
Emily walked over to the docks, Drift running at her heels and the boys trailing behind. A grey-haired, burly man had just got off the boat.
 ‘Is that boat yours?’ Emily asked.
The man smiled. ‘Yes, she’s mine. I’m Captain Eric. I have a delivery company – Cornwell Coastal Carriers.'
 ‘It’s a nice boat.’ Emily looked at her watch ‘Well, we’d better be going.’
Jack, Scott, Emily and Drift collected the picnic basket and returned to Stone Cottage.
‘So much for your smuggler, Emily,’ Jack joked. ‘This one’s all legal!’
Emily stuck her tongue out at him. ‘What’ll we do now, then?’
‘Let’s walk out to Roshendra Farm,’ Scott suggested, as they delivered the picnic basket to the kitchen. There was an ominous rumble outside.
Jack peered out the window at the sudden, heavy rain. ‘You might be swimming there.’
Scott scowled. ‘So what are we going to do? We could sit around waiting for the rain to go, I suppose!’ He picked up a newspaper. ‘Or we could read about a missing girl –’
Snatching the newspaper, Emily read,
“‘Bess Tiller, Daughter of Cornwall millionaire Henry Tiller, disappeared yesterday while shopping in Carrickstowe. Her distraught parents said that no trace has been found of the fourteen-year-old. It is thought she has been kidnapped; a ransom note is expected.’”
‘Yes, well,’ Scott said, ‘we can’t look for her because we’re not in Carrickstowe.’
‘Oh, I suppose not,’ Emily sighed, crossing out ‘Operation Ransom’ from her notebook. She kicked at a big oak beam next to the fireplace. ‘But –’
There was a grating noise and the wall behind the fireplace moved backward.
‘You’ve broken it!’ Jack gasped in mock horror.
Emily beamed her torch down the secret passage. ‘There are steps here.’ She glanced at the boys. ‘Are you coming?’
The passage was long and dark. After five minutes they came to a trapdoor. Suddenly, they heard voices on the other side and shrank into the shadows around a corner.
Two men were carrying a large crate, bearing the name Cornwell Coastal Carriers, into the tunnel.
Emily grinned. ‘I knew there was something up!’
‘Alright, I admit it’s very suspicious,’ Jack grumbled good-naturedly.
‘Now we’d better go, because smugglers wouldn’t exactly welcome visitors in their hideouts,’ Scott pointed out.
Emily shook her head. ‘First we have to see what they’re – where did they go?’
The two men had vanished. Drift whined and ran to a hollow in the rock wall.
‘Good boy, Drift!’ Emily ran forward to the other tunnel.  Scott pulled her back into the shadows just as the men reappeared and left out the trapdoor – without the crate.
As soon as the trapdoor had closed behind the men, Drift led the friends down the tunnel, barking.
‘Hello, is someone there?’A girl called up the tunnel.
In a small cave was the crate. Sitting inside it was a girl, bound hand and foot. Instantly Emily had her knife out and was cutting the ropes. Scott and Jack helped untie the knots.
‘Thanks,’ the girl said, rubbing her red wrists and pushing back her black plait. ‘My name’s Bess Tiller. I was kidnapped, as you may have heard! I’m so glad you found me – I was afraid no one would.’
Jack frowned. ‘Captain Eric seemed like a good bloke. Why would he turn to kidnapping?’
‘He didn’t know,’ Bess explained. ‘His crew kidnapped me, and they’re coming back soon.’
 ‘Yes, we’d better go,’ agreed Emily.
* * * * *
As Emily appeared in the fireplace, covered in soot, Aunt Kate came in the front door.
‘My goodness, dear. Whatever have you been doing?’
‘You’ll never guess,’ Jack said, clambering up behind Emily. ‘Never!’




The Mystery of the Secret Legend
by Agent Elizabeth

Chapter 1
I. Don’t. Believe this!” Scott Carter banged his head down on his keyboard and watched his brother, Jack, storming round the room. “How could Dad not let us go to Castle Key this Christmas?”
Jack kicked a chair leg in frustration. Scott was right – for once – it was unfair. And, if you thought about it, Dad was to blame both ways: he had made them go to Castle Key in the first place!

Just then, Dad walked in. “Why are you looking so upset boys? Has Mrs Wild rung to say Emily can’t come?” “Can’t come? But…But…What?!” Jack was really confused.
Scott raised his eyebrows. “What do you mean, Dad? I thought we were going to the Lake District with our cousins, Fiona and Nathan?”
Well, we’re still going to the Lake District, but I invited Emily too. Didn’t I tell you?”
Jack leapt onto the sofa and jumped up and down like a crazy monkey and Scott grinned. It didn’t look like this holiday would be that bad after all!

Chapter 2
So, what will we do now?” Jack bounced up and down on his seat in the train. He wasn’t going to be content to sit still like Emily and Scott: he wanted action!
Shut up!” Scott hissed. “There are other people on this train and there’re looking at us like we’re loonys!”
And?” Jack shot back. “You are a loony, what difference does it make?!” He dodged the kick Scott had aimed at his shin. “Ooh, look, there’s a man looking at us.”
No wonder” Scott muttered, but Emily had already whipped her periscope (a birthday present) out of her messenger bag she used for her investigation kit.
He does look suspicious, doesn’t he?! I wonder what he’s doing?” Emily started scribbling madly in her notebook.
Scott rolled his eyes. “Going on holiday perhaps? Wishing he wasn’t sitting behind Jack?”
Emily ignored him, and grabbed a piece of paper out her pocket. She rushed over to the man, who was. “Excuse me sir, but have you dropped this? It says” she glanced down. “Mr H. Jones – is that you?”
The man looked at her over his glasses. “No, young lady: My name is Dr W. Parker.” He vanished behind ‘The Times’ again. “Sorry.” said Emily.
She jumped back into her seat again. “Result! We have a name!” Emily started to write in her notebook again.
Scott looked at Emily. “What was that all about? He’s just some innocent man going on holiday!”
Emily shook her head. “But he’s not! He was only pretending to read. I checked. When I held the paper in front of him, he took his glasses off to read it! Therefore he must be a spy!”


Chapter 3
Round the old polished oak table, Emily was telling the boys all about her conclusions she had drawn from the guests. “And finally, the family in room 21 are called Michael Shanbury, his wife, Sophie, and their children Phoebe and Tony. Phoebe and Tony are twins, aged 6. They’re here because Mrs Shanbury is a birdwatcher. Oh, and you know that suspicious man who we saw on the train, he’s come here! And you know he said his name was Dr W Parker,” Emily carried on, ignoring the boys’ bored expressions, “That’s not his name! I looked on the guest register, and I know everyone else, so he’s really called Dr Marcus Harrison! Then I asked him, and he said he was researching the old legends here. He edits a magazine called ‘Myths and Legends from our Country’. But why would he lie about his name if he is here for the research? And, you know, he was the one who told me about the legend.”
Jack yawned. “Are you finished?”
Emily glared. “Actually, I was going to tell you about the legend that has hordes of blood crazed zombies and vampires… but you’re not interested, so…”
Ooh yes?” Jack sat up straight. Emily grinned. “Well” she said, “it doesn’t really have zombies, but there is a legend about some hidden treasure. It was hidden there hundreds of years ago – when this village was being invaded. The man who hid it never told anyone else where it was, and then, in a freak storm one night, his house was struck by lightning. They never found the body, but it’s said that if any mortal enters the hiding place they, and their family, will be cursed for eternity…”


To be continued…




The Mystery of the Spy Ring
by Joel Johnson

“So, what’s up?” asked Scott. They had just received Emily’s text – Meet @ Dotty’s asap, and had cycled at full speed all the way to Dotty’s cafe.
“Well,” said Emily slowly, “There’s something going on at the Post Office.”
“Wike wot?” mumbled Jack through a mouthful of muffin.
“Like a spy ring!” whispered Emily. “I’m almost certain Mrs Mc Elroy is passing coded messages to certain customers. I just need to make sure.”

An hour later, they met outside the Post Office.
“Got all your gear, Em?” whispered Scott.
“Yep,” Emily replied, “Now we just have to find a spot nearby to watch from.”
“How about I watch from Dotty’s?” asked Jack.
“The only problem is that you can’t see the Post Office from there,” Scott pointed out.
“What Ever!” replied Jack, “I’ll be back soon. I need to get some emergency rations.”

“Let’s set up between this hedge and the wall” Emily said to Scott. “You can see the whole Post Office from here, and no-one can see us.” Soon, Operation Spy Ring was under way.

‘There’s no doubt about it,’ thought Jack, ‘this is boring.’ They’d been there for about four hours, and still hadn’t seen anything. He crouched behind a stand of postcards, pretending to examine one at the bottom. Jack glanced at  the man who had just entered. He was tall and thin, had dark hair and grey eyes. ‘He looks like one of Emily’s suspects,’ thought Jack.
 “Hello, Mr Smith,” said Mrs McElroy. “There’s a parcel for you.” Just then Mrs McElroy caught sight of Jack lurking behind the stand.
“Excuse me,” she said. “Can I help you, young man?” Jack pretended to check his watch.
“Oh no!” Jack cried. “I’m late!” He ran out of the door and down the street, then doubled back, and crept behind the hedge.
“What’s wrong?” asked Emily. Jack told her about his encounter.
“I’m pretty sure he knew I was watching him,” he finished off.
“He sounds like one of my suspects,” Emily agreed.
“Oh, and he had a long, thin parcel,” Jack added. Just then, Mr Smith hurried out of the shop.
“Quick, let’s follow him,” said Emily.

 They all crept behind the suspect, ducking into doorways whenever they thought he might be looking back. Three minutes later, the man hurried into a house. The foursome crept up to the front door.
 
Emily pulled out her listening device, and held it to the door. “Yeah. I’ll meet you there in 5 minutes,” came blaring out of it. There were footsteps towards the door. Jack, Scott, Emily and Drift nearly tripped over each other in their hurry to get away. They ran around the back of the house just as they heard a car start up and drive away.

“We need to see what’s in the parcel,” Emily said.
“But how are we supposed to get in?” asked Jack. Emily pointed to an open window. They all quickly squeezed through, and Emily lifted Drift through. They crept into the kitchen. There, on the table, was the open parcel. Inside was a roll of canvas. Emily pulled it out and unrolled it.
“It’s a painting!” she exclaimed.
“It must be stolen,” said Jack in his very mysterious voice. “Probably,” said Emily.
“Come on. I was just joking,” said Jack.
“The edges are cut, like it’s been cut out of a frame,” said Scott.
Emily exclaimed, “This is the painting that was stolen from the Carrickstowe Museum.”
“It is,” agreed Scott in amazement. “Quick, let’s call the police,” he continued.
“There’s no reception,” said Emily. “What’ll we do?”
‘This is an emergency,’ thought Jack. ‘Time for some emergency rations.’

Suddenly, they heard a car coming. “Uh oh!” said Scott, “here comes our suspect.” They heard the sound of a key in the lock. “Quick. Out the window,” said Emily. They only had just enough time to get out into the yard before Mr Smith came into the kitchen.

“Let’s run back to Dotty’s. There’s reception there,” yelled Scott as he started to run. When they reached Dotty’s, Jack was nowhere to be seen. “Where’s Jack?” he asked Emily, who was busy calling the police.

Just then, Jack ran around the bend, shouting, “Don’t worry; I disconnected his car’s spark leads.”
“Jack, have you been reading my ‘Survival Guide for Secret Agents’?” asked Emily.
“Well, I’m only up to ‘How to survive if your ship sinks,’” said Jack as he ordered an extra large smoothie. 


The Mystery of the Model Ship
by Evonne Lee

‘“I’ll never tell ya where me bootie is!” shouted Captain Caddoc and with that he was killed by his foe Captain Hardwin,’ Aunt Kate ended her story.
            Five shadows sat by the fire to listen to Aunt Kate’s story. Two boys were Jack and Scott Carter back to visit castle Key during the holidays. The two girls were Emily Wild and her cousin Cynthia, who had also come to visit Emily for the holidays. Cynthia was short build for her age of ten.  Another shadow was of course Drift, Emily’s dog.
            ‘Do you really mean Captain Caddoc was an ancestor of mine?’ asked Jack.
            ‘Yes, his full name Caddoc Carter,’ Aunt Kate said.
            ‘Well, he’s mine too,’ Scott argued, ‘So Aunt Kate, did they find any treasure left by Captain Caddoc?
            ‘Legend says that the only thing left from Caddoc’s raid was a pearl shiny necklace, but it’s sad that no one has ever found it,’ she answered, ‘End of story time, do you all want to go for a walk before dinner?’
            ‘Woof,’ Drift answered happily as soon as he heard the word ‘walk’.

~
            ‘Do you guys think that the pearl necklace exists?’ Emily asked as they strolled along the beach.
            ‘I guess…’ Jack shrugged.
            Suddenly, Cynthia tripped over something and fell onto the soft sand.
            ‘Are you okay?’ Emily asked her anxiously, ‘I wonder what made you fall,’
            ‘Yeah, I’m fine,’ she answered.
            ‘Woof,woof,’ barked Drift as he dug up the ‘stuff’ that caused Cynthia’s fall.
            ‘Hey, it’s a model of a ship,’ exclaimed Scott, ‘I wonder if I can make out the words carved on the ship, A-D-V-E-N-T—I can just only make out these few words,’
            ‘That sounds familiar,’ Emily thought, ‘Of course, Adventure! It’s the ship Aunt Kate told us about; I wonder if it has anything to do with the pearl necklace,’
            ‘Let’s take this home and find out!’ Cynthia said.
            On the way home, the gang was intercepted by a funny-looking man. Drift began to growl. ‘Good day,’ the man greeted, ‘I see you have found an old ship, I’m willing to buy it from you, just name a price.’
            ‘I’m sorry but this ship is not for sale,’ replied Emily and the gang walked away.

~
            After dinner, the four plus Drift were sitting in Emily’s room and exploring the ship model. It was a real beauty and sandy as it had been in the sand for quite some time. Sadly, the four found nothing. They decided to sleep over it and meet again at Aunt Kate’s tomorrow.
            The next morning, Emily woke up to find the ship model missing. After breakfast, Jack and Scott arrived at Emily’s room in the lighthouse.
            ‘What?’ exclaimed Jack, ‘The ship’s missing? Besides the ship is there anything out of order? Did you hear anything during the night?’ Jack knew that Emily was super observant and would know if anything was out of order.
            ‘Well, this chair was shifted near the table where I left the ship,’ Emily answered, ‘I think that’s about it, oh and I heard a noise in the middle of the night or maybe I was dreaming,’
            ‘Cynthia, did you hear anything?’ Scott questioned.
            ‘Uh… no, I guess,’ Cynthia said half-heartedly.
            Emily took out her notebook and wrote on it – Operation Ship and underlined it twice. ‘So who so you think stole it?’
            ‘Maybe it’s that collector?’ suggested Jack.
            ‘Drift old boy, did you know who stole our ship?’ Emily said.
            ‘Woof,’ Drift answered and ran under the table and brought out a piece of paper scroll. The paper parchment was old and it had a ship printed at the back of it.
            ‘Do you think this could have fallen out of the ship?’ Emily said excitedly.
            ‘Maybe…’ Cynthia replied.
            Emily opened the paper parchment and there were a few lines of words.

I am the first to greet you in the morning,
I am the place you stay in.

            ‘Hmm, any ideas?’ Scott asked.
            ‘The place you stay in, house?’ Jack suggested.
            ‘The first thing we see in the morning, light, sun, air?’ Emily continued.
            ‘Lighthouse!’ Cynthia exclaimed.
            ‘Let’s start searching then,’ Emily knocked on all the walls, hoping to find a hollow spot.
            The five started searching, even Drift helped. They searched all day but did not find anything. Just as they were about to give up, Jack suddenly found a knob in the ceiling. Jack pulled down the knob and there was an attic.
            The four went up the attic. Emily’s sharp eye spotted a small chest. Emily carefully opened the chest and it was a shiny necklace.
            ‘Hooray,’ Jack cried happily, ‘That’s one mystery solved. Now who stole the ship?’
            There was a long silence.
            ‘Um… It was me,’ Cynthia broke the silence. ‘I’m sorry,’
            ‘But why?’ Scott asked.
            ‘The ship looked so cool, and, I just kinda wanted it,’ Cynthia explained.
            ‘Apology accepted,’ Scott said.
            ‘I guessed that you would be the thief,’ Emily said, ‘The chair was moved so that you could reach the table as you are too short. Besides, Drift didn’t bark when the ship was stolen, so it must have been you,’
            ‘That sure explains everything; now let’s go tell Aunt Kate about the necklace,’ Scott rushed the stairs.
            ‘Of course,’ the five rushed down the stairs.





Here is a really exciting story that was recently sent to me by a very talented young author called Lucy from Suffolk. I think you'll agree that Lucy had done a brilliant job of creating suspense and intrigue in her story of a treasure-seeking quest . . . well done, Lucy!

The Great Discovery


Chapter 1
The beginning
As Sean ran down the stairs, laying on the mat by the front door was an eerie looking envelope with ‘Sean Anderson’ written disturbingly on the front, cautiously unpeeling the sticky flap, he’s heart was racing like a run away mine train and little droplets of sweat fell from his forehead. Ripping the envelope open with great haste, Sean discovered he had been commissioned to embark on a great quest in the mines of Tapnus.
If he accepted the quest, would he survive? Would be become a fallen casualty? Or would he become trapped in the mines forever? But it was a far too exciting adventure to turn down. He was thinking about the consequences that might happen on the way, the advantages and the disadvantages, Although the mines were ever so old, it would be an awfully great adventure for him to discover lots of undiscovered history and the fallen residents of Tapnus.
Meeting his undiscovered, secret messenger the next day was mind filling with clues and the routes of the various underground tunnels that secretly led to the mine shaft that he had been set to find the hidden treasure that was lost centuries ago, but he was warned not to look him the box. As he packed his rucksack, he was thinking of what would happen to him while he was down there, would the roof collapse, the floor breaks through, he runs out of life supplies? Something he will never find out until he takes this challenge on.




Chapter 2
The Adventure
Arriving the entrance of the narrow, gloomy tunnel leading to the ancient, disused mine. Sean knew he needed a light. He reached into his backpack and took it out. Turning the light on, he could see, the ceiling was low, the walls were wet and damp. The quicker he could finish this quest, the happier he would be. Slowly and cautiously Sean made his way down the tunnel. After a few minutes but what seemed like a lot longer Sean came to a clearing, there where some old mine tools leaning up against the wall. He stopped to catch his breath and had a drink and carried on with his adventure, checking the guide and the map, Sean realised he was nearly at the treasure. Inching further he ran his hands along the cold, wet walls, he felt a hole and reached in finding a lever, he slowly pulled it towards him and the wall in front of him started to move leading to another room.
Chapter 3
The Unmarked Room
Once Sean was in the room fully and his eyes had adjusted he could not believe his eyes. The walls told the story of previous explorers searching for the treasure what Sean was now hunting for, he studied the images carefully and with great interest. Once finished he took a drink of water and checked his position on his compass and realised he was standing where the treasure was buried, taking off his backpack he got out the relevant tools he needed and started to dig.
After digging for a short while he came across a box. What was in the box? He picked up the box and made his way back to the entrance of the shafts. Sean wasn’t expecting what was awaiting.



Chapter 4
The Unexpected
Before he could leave the room the wall closed before him, leaving him trapped, Sean sank to his knees dropping the box. How would he escape? Nobody knew he was there? Was this how all the other explorers died? Thinking back to the warning from the secret messenger, Sean was tempted to look in the box as it might contain something that could save him, his torched dimmed and he knew he didn’t have a lot of time. With a deep breath, he opened the box. Inside was a code that Sean needed to unlock so he could escape the unmarked room. After a few minutes, he managed to crack the code and the wall started to open, Sean ran as fast as he could and finally arrived at the entrance of the shaft. Waiting to Sean’s surprise was the secret messenger who took the box from Sean and congratulated him on a special mission. Sean was horrified when he discovered that the box was the treasure not what it contained. As he walked home he had a smile on his face wishing he could go back and do it all over again.





Here in story showcase, I love to show off all kinds of writing by Adventure Island readers - it doesn't have to be a short story; poems and pieces of non-fiction are just as welcome - as long as they are original and creative. To kick off our non-fiction category, here is a beautifully written project about The Titanic, sent in by Rose, a very talented young writer from Suffolk, whom I was lucky enough to meet at a school visit earlier this year. Thank you, Rose, and keep up the brilliant writing.


TITANIC


At about 1:00am on the 15th of April 1912, the lifeboats of the Titanic were lowered, crammed full with people. The Titanic was sinking - fast.

 The wreck of the Titanic was found in 1985, 73 years after it sank. It was one of the most tragic disasters at sea.
 
RMS Titanic, an 'unsinkable' luxury cruise ship, played host to many famous people of her time. She had 3 Classes: Third class, Second class and First class.

Titanic was 'unsinkable' and when the first warning of an iceberg came through, the Captain didn't take it seriously.  He should never have ignored the 5 warnings of 2 massive icebergs from Athenia, Amerika and Mesaba. Captain Smith ordered Titanic to speed up as they were half-an-hour away from new York, where Titanic was docking.

20 Knots and rising. Titanic sped through the Atlantic Ocean like it was on fire. The iceberg was silhouetted against the night sky. Minutes later Titanic and the iceberg collided.  22 knots of damage was inflicted and Titanic's side was ripped apart.
Titanic had been made beautifully. She had watertight compartments and luxury dinning rooms. However this was only for First and Second class! Third Class people stayed in stuffy and cramped compartments with a stranger often living in the same room. These were at the bottom of the ship as the people there were less important than those in the First Class.




Titanic had a swimming pool, a gymnasium, a squash racquet court and Turkish baths!

As Titanic broke in two the lights when out with a ghostly crack. People started to scream as the first funnel sank into the water. It was closely followed by the second funnel. Carpathia, Titanic's sister ship, rescued the survivors on the lifeboats. No-body could imagine the immense loss.

The most courageous people on board had to be The Band. They kept playing until the end. Ida Straus , who ran Macy's department store (a bit like Harrods in London), would not leave her husband and they went down together.

Since Titanic sank, there have been books, TV dramas and films all about her.

The film Titanic , starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, was one of the best films ever, and was even made into 3D this year (2012)!
No-body can really imagine what the people on Titanic went through, but these films have tried to capture the idea

Some of the remains from the wreck of the Titanic are now in the Titanic Museum, Belfast. Divers are still thinking about raising the wreck.
The Titanic Museum in Belfast is shaped to look like the front of Titanic!


By Rose Brennan


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Here is a great new story for the story showcase, which has been sent in by Amy. Amy is also one of the members of the Special Investigations Team over on the Adventure Island website, under her special agent name (which I won't reveal as it's secret!). Jack, Scott, Emily and Drift have great fun chatting to her on their blogs.

Actually this is only the start of Amy's story - it's TO BE CONTINUED - I think you'll agree it's very funny AND very mysterious - what a great combination!

Amy sent this in after having a discussion with Scott about the possibility of having a story competition on the Adventure Island website - now that the draw-a-character and the Operation Diamond competitions have finished. I think it's a great idea - and we will announce it very soon - so get plotting everyone!


The Adventures of Amelia and Emily
by Amy



Emily was running, Bumble darted in front of her as spot dragged her behind. “Please do not hurt me!” she pleaded.
 Bumble looked at her ‘sympathetically’ “let me think….NO!!” Emily looked as if she was about to burst out crying “well….. Fine then, but only on one condition! That no one finds out about this!”
“Ok deal, I promise I won’t tell a single soul”  

1 month later 
     
“Quick, hurry up!!” yelled Amelia. Emily struggled to keep up. “Why… are you…in such…a rush?” panted Emily.
“Look, I just don’t want Bumble to…”she trailed off “what was that?”
The sound got louder and Emily felt a nudge on her left arm. She looked behind her and saw… “…Bumble! Everyone into the tree, NOW”
Amelia and Emily sprinted across the field into the hollow tree- a perfect hideout.
“Hello!!!”Called an unfamiliar voice said from behind them. 

“As I was trying to say, I don’t want mike, or spot, to find us because we have a guest” Amelia explained, looking sheepish she mimed ‘sorry’ and continued. “Emily, this is Chloe”  
A girl with long blonde hair came out of the shadows.
     “Greetings, I am Chloe and…….” She began in a snooty tone but stopped and then screamed “HELP!!!! SPIDER ON THE WALL! HELP!!!!!!!” she carried on like this for a few minutes until Amelia groaned and moved the cowering creature (the spider not Chloe) to the other side of the tree. Emily - not being able to hold it in any longer - burst out laughing. Normally, she would be sympathetic but at Chloe she was just in hysterical laughter. She ran over to the spider, picked it up then went over to Chloe and threw it at her. Chloe screamed and fainted. 
         “EMILY” Amelia gasped, trying to stop the bubble of laughter in her voice. She ran to pick up the spider, when she heard footsteps outside. Stopping suddenly, she listened and, looked out of a gap in the wood. She saw two boys her age playing in the meadow. They were twins, she decided, because they looked exactly alike. Then, suddenly, there was a splash from outside and two cries for help. Chloe was awakened by this and sat up, dazed. 
     “Come on, Em” cried Amelia as they went to rescue the boys.
              “They’ve fallen into the lake and must have got stuck in the mud at the shallower side” giggled Emily.          
“Well, one thing is for sure, they are only here on holiday. Anyone who lives here aren’t stupid enough to fall into that lake!” agreed Amelia
When they arrived, the boys were already up to their necks in mud. Both girls burst out laughing and the boys glared at then in a friendly way. Both boys had embarrassed smirks on their faces so Amelia and Emily began to haul then out of the mud when the first one said,
    “I’ve lost my shoe”
    “Me too” said the other.
When they were out- eventually- they were both shoeless.  
       “Would you like us to get you some dry clothes?” asked Amelia
The boys nodded, grateful that the girls were being so nice and not intimidating.
    “Oh, and by the way, I’m Emily and this is my best friend Amelia”
Amelia smiled shyly at this and asked their names.
      “I’m Matt and this is my annoying twin Mackenzie”
Mackenzie looked at his brother in mock horror.
     “You think I’m annoying?!” he asked, looking surprised and laughed. 
Both boys grinned cheekily, making the girls do the same.
While they played around for a while, pushing each other into the lake until they were saturated with mud and laughing their heads off, Chloe was momentarily forgotten. Not being happy with this at all, she stormed out of the tree and started going on about how no one cared about anything but messing around. Matt and Mackenzie, not knowing Chloe at all, dragged her into the mud. Amelia and Emily silenced immediately and began wondering-half scared and half terrified- what Chloe was going to do to them. She attempted to hit Matt on his arm but he simply moved away from her, annoying her more.
    “Come on, we had better go” hissed Amelia to Emily.
    “But…….. Oh, fine, come on” she whispered back “Matt, Mackenzie, we have to go….. BYE” 
And with that they just ran back to Amelia’s house to get cleaned up, for they were both still covered in mud.
       “So, why do we have to look after Chloe again?” asked Emily for what seemed like the 1000th time that day.
          “Her family are away so she’s staying with us for a few weeks and I promised to look after her while she stays here.” Laughed Amelia, “do I have to repeat it again???”
Amelia’s family owned the B&B and was always bringing out new people that she had made friends with. Chloe met up with them as they walked to the field.
      “Why did you leave me with those two……two…...”
She began, trying to think of a bad enough word to call Matt and Mackenzie.
      “Those two total idiots but fun guys?” tried Emily, starting to laugh. 

When they met up with Mackenzie and matt, they had surprising news for the girls.
     “You know that old burial ground that is off limits?” began Mackenzie, looking sheepish.  “Well we kind of broke in and found something that we would like to show you”
So Matt and Mackenzie led the way until they came to the centre of the site. In the ground was what looked like a human skull. 
        “Well?!” asked Chloe. She could see nothing special about a skull………on a burial ground.
          “Well, look at it; sure it’s just a skull, made of gold!!!”
 Amelia looked at it closer for she was not sure that this is the normal type of skull you would find on a grave. As she knelt down to pick it up, the ground that they were all standing on began to shake 
     “Wh….what’s ha…happening???” stuttered Chloe. When the ground stopped shaking, it suddenly caved in, plunging them into darkness….... 



Ooh, so exciting . . . I wonder what will happen next . . . keep writing Amy, we all want to know!


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The first story in the showcase is by Eloise Peacock of Bedfordshire who sent me this story after we met at the fabulous Bedfordshire Book of the Year Event in June.

You might wonder WHY Eloise has chosen to write a story with the rather random title, The Mystery of the Uninvited Socks. It is because we all played game of coming up with funny new titles for Adventure Island Books. We wrote down a mysterious descriptive word (like spooky or invisible or secret) on one piece of paper, and then the most boringly ordinary word we could think of on another piece (words like potato, shed and toenail). Then we mixed all the words up in a hat and picked out some funny new titles made up of one mysterious and one boring word.

That's how we ended up with The Mystery of the Uninvited Socks. A few days later, Eloise sent me this story, inspired by that silly title. I think she has done a fantastic job of inventing a mystery that fits the title - the story is funny, well-written and clever - with really great dialogue (and even includes one of the other silly titles we picked out of the hat, The Mystery of the Disappearing Tesco!)
I think Eloise has a great future ahead as a writer.





Mystery of the…

             
Uninvited Socks!!!



by Eloise Peacock

‘Ahhhhhhhhh,’ Screamed Jane, ‘Ahhhhh, help me someone, please, please have mercy.’

‘What is it now?’ Jane’s mother asked grumpily, her arms piled high with dirty washing.

‘I want to call childline; my maths teacher’s abusing me again’

‘Let me see that,’ said Jane’s mum, snatching a sheet off Jane. It was her maths homework: If 1+x=2 then what is x? it asked. ‘Easy, two minus one is….’

‘Boredom’ grouched the failing mathematician.

 ‘No it’s not … is this the reason you’ve been sat there grumbling all afternoon?’

‘Yes, can I call childline now?’

‘Ohh,’ Jane’s mum sighed, ’for the last time, he is not abusing you, it’s maths homework! Now get on with it!’

‘Hmmph’ snorted Jane as she stalked out of the room and up the stairs.








‘I give up ‘muttered her mum, rolling her eyes as she started shovelling clothes into the washing machine.



‘Huh,’ grunted Jane,’ what are those?’ A strange pair of boringly puke coloured socks were balled up on her bed. She grabbed her phone and texted her two friends, Frank and Bill: Plz come quik. Scary sox, ‘nuver mystery? Mysteries were a familiar thing to Jane and her friends; they had solved the case of the disappearing Tesco (it had been pulled down) and the puzzle of the extremely boring maths lesson (it was maths, of course it was boring!).

 Frank and Bill arrived quickly and they soon got to work trying to solve their new mystery.

‘Hey, I think I’ve found something good!’ Frank said within two minutes of beginning the search. He waved an ugly spider in Jane’s face then jumped backwards with laughter.

‘Ahhhhh,’ she screamed, ‘get it off me, get it off me!’

She made a grab at the spider and her fingers felt rubber as she squeeze the fake bug

‘Argh, I’ve had it with you guys.’ she shouted, slumping on the bed.

‘Hey, what’s that… it’s a clue!’ Bill said.

‘If it’s a fake worm…’ Jane trailed off menacingly.

‘No, look’ He thrust a piece of paper under Jane’s nose.




 










‘Well that still doesn’t explain how they got there…or why they’re so ugly.’ She thought aloud,

‘Let’s ask’ exclaimed Bill

‘Yeah’ intoned Frank

So they all trudged down the stairs and asked Jane’s mum about these mysterious socks.

‘Your Gran dropped them round this morning, they’re lovely don’t you think? I put them in your room for you to wear, you should thank her.’ Her mum answered.

‘Ok’ said Jane with a shrug, and pulled out her mobile


 
 






‘Hello, Hello… is that you Gran’

‘Hello, who is this?’

‘It’s Jane’

‘Oh, hello Jazz’

‘Jane’

‘That’s what I said Jade’

‘No, that’s not what I said, my name is Jane: J-A-N-E’

‘Jenna’

‘Uh, no. Anyway I just wanted to ask about those socks.’

‘What, the pink ones?’

‘Pink ones?’

‘Yes, those ones I dropped off.’

‘They weren’t pink’

‘Oh, well my eyesight’s not so good these days’

‘Uh huh’

‘Well what is it you wanted?’

‘Uhhh, just to say, you know…uh,errr.’



‘Thanks?’

‘Yeah!’

‘You’re very welcome Jack’

‘Jack?!’

‘I mean Janet’

‘Mmm, well see you some time’

‘Yes of course’

‘Bye’


 
‘Goodbye Jenny’


‘Hope I don’t see her anytime soon’ Jane said, putting the phone back in its cradle.
‘She’s coming for lunch tomorrow’ her mum replied with her eyebrows raised.
‘Oh… well at least we’ve solved the mystery now’
‘What mystery?
‘They mystery of who sent me the most repulsive socks in the universe!’
‘That’s not very nice dear, you’ll be wearing them when Gran comes round for lunch tomorrow anyway, because she was very kind and considerate giving them to you.’
‘She thought they were pink!’
‘Well she’s 83, give her a chance’
‘Huh, well anyway, do you guys want to grab some chocolate in celebration of another good mystery solved?’
‘Yeah’ Cheered Jane’s mum.
‘I wasn’t talking to you, let’s go guys. And what’s that! Someone’s putting a letter in the post box! Looks like another mystery to solve!’