by Julia Hands
A DARING TALE OF INTERNATIONAL ADVENTURE EXCITING, FAST MOVING & EDUCATIONAL SYNOPSIS Set in Majorca and Edinburgh, with an English brother (Steve) and sister (Becky) befriending a Majorcan girl (Maria) when they holiday in the old fishing village of Puerto Pollensa, Majorca. Steve and Maria chance upon a diamond smuggling gang while looking at some rare black vultures on the cliffs, and they're tied up in an island cave and left to drown. They escape and help Maria's brother, who's in the police, track the criminals down. Later, the smuggler's ringleader, connected with international criminals, escapes. When Steve and Becky hear that Maria is coming to Edinburgh on an archaeological dig with her school, in the Penicuik area, they persuade their parents to take an early spring holiday in Edinburgh, where they can do some safer birdwatching - and the rest of the criminals, who get their diamonds cut and polished in Scotland, come after them. There aren't many realistic adventure stories for this age group - most are just fantasy genre: this one's exciting because it is realistic and the criminals come after the youngsters while they're on holiday with their parents, which is pretty scary. It is also quite humorous. All the criminals eventually get their come-uppance. The children’s book SMUGGLED DIAMONDS written by Julia Hands (Cambs B.A.Hons) is an exciting, fast-moving illustrated adventure story suitable for both boys and girls. It holds the young reader through a perfectly balanced mixture of detail and action, in a plot both gripping and convincing. The occasionally gently challenging style also makes for a very rewarding book and ideal for teaching or furthering the English language.