There are a lot of ‘A’s in Ava Anne Appleton’s life. Her parents are Alan and Anne Appleton, and her dog is called Angus. She even lives at 3A Australia Avenue. She is very comfortable in her ordinary and predictable life, but all that changes when her father brings home a large mobile home named the Adventurer, and announces that their whole family will be traveling around Australia for the next year. Ava isn’t sure this sounds like a great idea, but as her parents are obviously thrilled about their trip, she just has to go along with it. When they set down for the night near a lake, Angus runs off into the bush, and Ava follows after him, quickly becoming lost in the unfamiliar surroundings. She has to find Angus and get back to her parents. Luckily she meets a new friend that can help show her how to enjoy her first adventure.
This is a chapter book with easy to read (and largish) text, and a simple storyline with simple language. This book would be great for lower primary school kids that are moving into independent reading of chapter books. There are some black and white illustrations through the book, and the chapters are reasonably short. At first I thought Ava didn’t seem much like an ordinary eight year old, with her need for order and neatness, but perhaps I just have too much experience with kids that whip through the room like a tornado! Perhaps Ava has been attributed with some more adult-like qualities because she is an only child in the story. Despite her reluctance to adventure, run about and get dirty, she is still a likeable character, and my own children liked her. I read this to my preschooler, and she loved it. We have now started reading Ava’s second adventure. Though this was a very easy read for my second grader, she still enjoyed the story too.