The Book of Hidden Wonders

The Book of Hidden Wonders

Author: Polly Crosby
Genre: coming of age, young adult
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Little about the story

Romilly Kemp is a young girl of 9 when she moves into Braër House in the country, far away from London. Her father struggles to make ends meet, but she does not mind. There, she meets Stacey, a young girl who loves nearby but never seems to be around much. The father and daughter duo have a Siamese cat, Monty (short for Captain Montgomery of the Second Regiment, seriously).

Then her father, Tobias, lands a book deal and their life improves.

People in the Book of Hidden Wonders

The person you read the most about will be Tobias, because the book is in the first person’s point of view, narrator being Romilly. At nine years old, her view of the world is innocent. Her need for adventure shines through, mostly punctuated by scenes of boredom. There, she meets a girl call Stacey.

When her father’s book becomes a popular hit, then a series, Romilly becomes a celebrity of sorts. Treasure hunters flock onto their land, convinced that there are treasures buried somewhere. They believe that Romilly is the key to it all, so they frequently harass the poor girl.

As Romilly grows older, she meets more people who should have been in her life: her mother and her grandmother. But the only person of interest to her is the circus lady who rides the horses.


The pace can be slow on some parts, the book is fairly thick and I believe it can be tighter. Romilly receives a special gift from her father, a clock that only chimes when it is near her birthday. The clock also presents her with odd bits and pieces, which are hints to the treasure that people talk about. She is a smart girl, despite lacking of proper education. Romilly figures things out quickly enough, and the story ends with a non-ending.

The Book of Hidden Wonders is not a magical book, it has a dark theme of mental health issues, and the ugliness of human when it comes to fame. The author shows what Romilly has to go through after her father’s book becomes a bestseller, the restrictions she has to endure as a child because the adults have no self- control whatsoever. A painting of human nature, as seen in a child’s eyes.


I may have wished to see the illustrations, and I may had different expectations before the first chapter. The Book of Hidden Wonders have a darkish background color for a reason. It hints at the theme. The ending is (not much) of a surprise, because while I expected some twists, there are some that still caught me unawares. You will see that the book reviews vary a lot, because The Book of Hidden Wonders promised treasure, but I suppose it never did say what kind.

Should you read it?

I don’t know. Romilly is an interesting girl, her dad is equally eccentric. The pace is slow, but picks up some times. The mystery is a huge info dump, but that is its intention. If I have your attention, maybe you should read it.

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