Review of The Battle of Spencer Street
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The Children’s Book Review
Written by Evi De La Roca
Illustrated by Maria Alliaud
Ages 5-10 | 26 Pages
What to Expect: Mental health, self-empowerment, diverse characters.
Sander is a nice kid, but he is not a happy kid, because he worries about everything. He worries about the preservatives in food, the dangers of playing basketball, and getting hit by cars. He is even terrified of the downstairs bathroom. However, Sander’s neighbor, Mrs. Luis, has some news that will really give him something to worry about: the infamous war crow, Geranium Hoggledy-Poggledy, is determined to steal the collar of his beloved dog, Tuffety. To outsmart Geranium, Sander will need to overcome his worst fears and learn how to master his anxiety.
Anxiety is a common problem for children, but its harsh effect on young sufferers is often overlooked and downplayed by authoritative adults. The Battle of Spencer Street is exceptional in that it acknowledges childhood anxieties as valid and empowers readers to take control of their fears and worries. Throughout the story Sander combats worry with determination, quick thinking, and creativity; as a role model, he provides both affirmation and reassurance to readers that even anxious children can be powerful, clever, and loved. Fun and imaginative illustrations help to convey the story, and readers are sure to be charmed by the quirky magic realism of a tale that brings a talking crow to life. The Battle of Spencer Street is an endearing tale with an important message for readers, and is an enjoyable read for children who are regular victims of anxiety as well as those who are not.
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About the Author
Storytelling is natural for children’s author Evi De La Roca.
As a young child she grew up hearing wonderful yarns from her father, spinning fantastical stories for each child in the family. As she got older and realized the impact stories have on kids, she decided to create her own.
Evi’s inspiration to write comes from wanting to create stories for her own nieces and nephews. As a doctor, she held a belief that by creating fictitious and appealing characters who live with emotional difficulties or learning disabilities, she could help young readers who experience the same struggles.
“I think good stories provide the reader with a relatable message. Better stories stretch the mind and experience of the reader to understand a new concept altogether,” says Evi. Evi hopes that her stories help children and families to face their anxieties and realize that, by addressing them head-on, such issues can assist people in the long term.
The author lives in Melbourne, Australia, and when she isn’t writing amazing stories for children, she enjoys cooking and listening to music. Evi De La Roca is a pen name; this is her debut children’s book.
For more information, visit: https://www.evidelaroca.org/
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