Tourmaline and the Museum of Marvels by Ruth Lauren

Tourmaline and the Museum of Marvels – at a glance

The School Reading Lists’ five word review: Adventure, friendship, magic, secrets, family.
Children’s book title: Tourmaline and the Museum of Marvels.
Children’s author: Ruth Lauren.
Genre: Children’s fiction, fantasy.
Published by: Little Tiger.
ISBN: 9781788955928.
Recommended for children aged: 9-12 year-olds.
First published: Paperback March 2024.
This children’s book is ideal for: Anyone who enjoyed the first book. There are examples of strong friendships and loyalty throughout.

Tourmaline and the Museum of Marvels by Ruth Lauren

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Our review:

Tourmaline is back at Pelavere University, where her mother works as an archaeologist of magical artefacts, following a recent adventure with her two best friends, George and Mai. After an unexpected incident, while she was away, Tourmaline is trying to stop anyone else discovering the fact that she has uncontrollable magic swirling inside her. When another of her lessons descends into chaos, after she receives an anonymous postcard, Tourmaline has to tell her friends that at least one other person knows what they’re hiding.

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Following the postcard’s instructions Tourmaline and her friends begin to investigate, anxious to discover who is contacting her. With more clues to decipher the three youngsters find themselves in danger as Tourmaline’s secret threatens to become far more widely known than she ever envisioned.

After gaining a new friend along the way, who is keen to help with their quest, the identity of the secret correspondent finally seems closer to being discovered. Can the four friends reach their goal or will those who are determined to use Tourmaline’s abilities for their own nefarious intentions hunt them down before they reach their final destination?

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Our verdict:

This is an excellent follow-up to Tourmaline and the Island of Elsewhere and once again I thoroughly enjoyed the reading experience. The strongest message throughout is that friendship matters and even if you and your friends aren’t very similar or if you disagree sometimes overall that isn’t anywhere near as important as the things you do have in common.

The magic, its problems, and its actual purpose, whilst important and the reason for the quest the three friends undertake, never overshadows the relationships between the main protagonists or the differing emotions experienced throughout. The uncertainty Tourmaline feels not just about her magic but also the relationships she has with her mother and best friends make her a more likeable, relatable character and I’m already looking forward to book three.

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Teaching points and book club discussion ideas:

  • This is an action-packed story which could be used to encourage discussions on what makes a good friend and how to be one yourself.
  • This is an excellent book to read aloud as there are cliffhangers at the end of most chapters.

Many thanks to Little Tiger for the review copy.

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If you like Tourmaline and the Museum of Marvels by Ruth Lauren you might also like: our reviews of Tourmaline and the Island of Elsewhere by Ruth Lauren, The Thief of Farrowfell by Ravena Guron, Adia Kelbara and the Circle of Shamans by Isi Hendrix and Alyssa and the Spell Garden by Alexandra Sheppard.

Browse our list of books for children in year 6

About Tracy Wood

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I am a voracious reader and used to be a learning support assistant in a senior school for eight years before leaving to home school my now adult daughter. I have ten grandchildren who I love reading to and spending time with. Reviews by Tracy Wood