About the book:
Title: The Ugly Teapot
Author: Fred Holmes
Genre & Age Group: Fantasy, middle grade
Fourteen-year-old Hannah Bradbury loved her father so much that she worried about him constantly. After all, he was a photographer who traveled to the most dangerous places in the world.
To allay her fears, each time he came home he brought her silly gifts, each one with supposed magical powers: the Seal of Solomon, the Ring of Gyges, even Aladdin’s Lamp. It was that lamp Hannah found the most unbelievable, for it looked like an ugly teapot. Nevertheless, her father assured her it was real, and made her promise to save her three wishes for something very special.
Then . . . six months later . . . the unthinkable happened. Her father was killed while on assignment to Baghdad. And so on the day of his funeral Hannah did something she never thought she would ever do.
She took out that teapot and gave it a rub . . .
The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes is a timeless tale, filled with magic and adventure. More importantly, it will make you believe in the overwhelming power of love.
Source: Thanks so much to author Fred Holmes for providing me with an e-ARC of this book!☺️
How I Found Out About It: Review request
Receiving Fred Holmes’ request to read and review this book made me feel super giddy and fluttery inside. I’d been amassing ARCs from Netgalley and Indigo, but this was my first ever official review request from an author himself, and I have to say that even though it wasn’t my favourite book in the world, it didn’t disappoint!
For a quick summary, The Ugly Teapot revolves around a 14-year old girl named Hannah. She really loves and looks up to her dad, so she gets anxious when he’s not around- which is quite often. But one day, Hannah’s biggest fears come true, and her dad is killed. Using the teapot he gave to her, she gives it a rub, hoping for good things.
I found that the beginning of the story captured my attention more than any other part- I just don’t love books like this with a TON of action; I’d rather them centre more on the characters than the plot. Others may think that this beginning is slow, but in my opinion, it was the action that was slow, making me dose off a bit. This is not to say that someone with more of an action fetish wouldn’t get a kick out of the entire book, though.
Plot aside, I really liked the protagonist of this story, Hannah. I felt absolutely terrible for her when her dad was killed, and I just wanted to reach into my iPad and tell her that everything would be fine. But for the most part, she didn’t really need that reassurance- she was so positive, brave, and resilient! She didn’t allow her dad’s death to let her down; instead, she let it bring her up as she decided to take charge of the situation. I really admire strong characters like Hannah, and I just wish there were more of them!
I really loved the message that this book gave off about knowing that anything is possible as long as you set your mind to it. You obviously can’t perform all the magic shown in this book, but I believe that this story is portraying the message in a ‘big picture’ kind of way, as Hannah makes things happen that no one probably would have dreamed of.
This book ended on a cliffhanger with the introduction of a new protagonist, and I hope to read more about her in the next instalment(s).
Overall, The Ugly Teapot was a good middle grade story. I liked the characters and morals, but the plot didn’t always capture my attention. Those who don’t mind a middle grade fantasy book with lots and lots of magic and action with a great main character shouldn’t hesitate to check this one out!☺️
Rating: 3/5 Stars
*I received a digital ARC of this book from author Fred Holmes in exchange for an honest review.*