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Bartlett's back

Elaine Williams finds novels for children who have acquired a taste for reading this summer

For fantasy adventure written with verve and humour, junior readers would do well to pick up Bartlett and the City of the Flames by Odo Hirsch (Bloomsbury pound;9.99), a well-honed sequel to last year's Bartlett and the Ice Voyage.

In this story Bartlett, Jacques and Gozo emerge frm exploring the Margoulis Caves only to be arrested by a pair of inept, comical guards; Bargus and More, and taken to the Pasha in the City of the Sun. In order to escape execution they must rescue the Pasha's kidnapped son.

Hirsch writes with his usual wit and inventiveness, and the tale is made fresh and rich by his characterisation and power of description.

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