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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Dream Merchant (The)
by Isabel Hoving
Age Range: 12+
When 12-year-old Joshua receives a mysterious telephone call in the middle
of the night from Gippart International, little does he realise that he is about
to embark on an extraordinary journey into ‘Umaya’ – a place between dreams
and reality. Why is an international corporation so convinced that Josh is the
key to conquering their new market: the past? Together with his friends Baz
and Teresa, he find himself in the middle of a nightmare. In order to find their
way back, they must follow a trail that takes them through many different
whirlwind adventures as they learn how to control aspects of Umaya.
This is an epic time-travel fantasy – all 638 pages of it! Isabel Hoving has produced a thought-provoking debut novel that is rich in adventure, suspense and extraordinary imagination. It was first published in Holland as “The Winged Cat” and won the 2003 Golden Kiss Award, Holland’s most prestigious children’s book prize.
An ambitious project for any translator, but Hester Velmans has done an excellent job of conveying this complex novel to a British setting. With its multi-layered text it is ideal for fantasy lovers who enjoy a challenging story.
(Outside In: Children’s Books in Translation, Milet, 2005)