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Today’s author is Darlene Foster sharing an extract from her most recent book in the Amanda travel series – Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action.
About Amanda in Holland
Amanda is in Holland to see the tulips with her best friend, Leah; as well as travelling the canals of Amsterdam, visiting Anne Frank House, checking out windmills and a wooden shoe factory, and taking pictures of the flowers of Keukenhof Gardens. She is keen to find out what happened to her great uncle who never returned from WWII and was declared missing in action. What she doesn’t expect to find and fall in love with is Joey, an abandoned puppy. While trying to find a home for him, she meets Jan, a Dutch boy who offers to help, a suspicious gardener, a strange woman on a bicycle, and an overprotective goose named Gerald. Follow Amanda around the charming country of Holland, filled with colourful tulips, windmills, and more bicycles than she could have imagined. Once again, intrepid traveller Amanda encounters danger and intrigue as she tries to solve more than one mystery in a foreign country.
An extract from Amanda in Holland.
Amanda enjoyed the scenery as they drove along the highway. “It is so flat and very green.”
Jan explained how Holland is actually below sea level in many places and dykes were built to keep the water out. “No doubt you have heard the story of the little boy and the dyke?”
“No, I haven’t.” Amanda shook her head. “Please, tell us the story.”
“Well,” Jan began, “a long time ago a small boy was on his way to school when he noticed a leak in the dyke. He saw the seawater trickle through the opening and knew that even a small hole could eventually become bigger. If too much water flowed through, the village could be flooded. So, he poked his finger in the hole to stop the water, even though it meant he would be late for school and get into trouble. He stood there with his finger in the hole for a long time until eventually someone saw him and got help. The hole was repaired and the boy became a hero for saving his village.”
“That is such a cool story. Is it true?” asked Amanda.
“It is more like a legend. The story is told to children to show them that even a small child can prevent a disaster if they use their wits. Actually an American author, Mary Mapes Dodge, first wrote about it a hundred and fifty years ago in her book, Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates.”
“That´s so interesting, don’t you think Leah?”
“Ya, sure.” Leah turned the page of her fashion magazine. “I heard that story when I was a little girl. What do you think of this outfit?” She turned around and held up the page.
Amanda smiled. “That’s very nice. It would look good on you.”
Everyone kept quiet as they passed more farm buildings and neatly tilled fields.
“Turn left,” said the GPS woman.
Mr. Anderson turned the corner and slammed on the brakes. A large, angry goose stood in the middle of the road with its wings flapping and neck stretched forward as it honked.
Amanda laughed. “What a silly goose!”
“That’s my grandfather’s goose. He likes to think he is protecting the property,” said Jan.
“You mean he’s like a guard goose.” Amanda grinned.
Jan got out of the car and spoke to the goose in Dutch. The irate bird finally left the road and waddled into the field, his eye still on them.
Leah’s dad rolled down the window. “Thanks, mate. I wasn’t sure how we would get past him. Get back in and we’ll take you to where you need to be.”
Jan climbed back into the car. “You can drop me off over there.” He pointed to a farmyard in the distance.
As they neared the farm, Amanda noticed the rustic house had a sloping roof that looked like a large slouched hat pulled over its eyes. “Is this where your grandparents live?”
“Yes, they have always lived here, and so has my great-grandmother. It is her family home,” answered Jan.
The place looked inviting and cozy.
Someone pulled aside a lace curtain and peered out the window. Grey eyes met Amanda’s.
The curtain dropped.
One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads
Amanda in Holland was such a fun read! I’ll admit I was a bit bias in picking this title — my family is Dutch, so the title caught my eye instantly. I learned more about the culture there than I’ve ever learned from my family (sorry, Dad!). But my favorite part is the way Foster seamlessly ties history, culture, and mystery all in one. This book also makes the location its own character, which I love. Overall, the story had a very Nancy Drew feel to it.I didn’t realize that this book is part of a series, but now that I know, I’ll definitely be reading the others in the series.
Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US
And: Amazon UK
A selection of books by Darlene Foster
Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US
and: Amazon UK
Read more reviews and follow Darlene: Goodreads
About Darlene Foster
Growing up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world, and meeting interesting people. She also believed in making her dreams come true. It’s no surprise she’s now the award-winning author of Amanda Travels, a children’s adventure series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. When not travelling herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.
Connect to Darlene
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