The Bookshop Girl

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

Thank you NetGalley and Scholastic for the opportunity to review this book. All opinions are my own.

This book was so darling! 

Property Jones was left in a bookstore lost and found cupboard when she was five years old. Thankfully, the bookshop owner and her son found and welcomed Property into their family, and she has never felt more loved. Unfortunately, Property has a secret: she can’t read! But that doesn’t stop her from enjoying the books surrounding her: their feel, their smell… The Jones Family gets the opportunity of a lifetime to own a huge bookstore in London. Sure, the current owner is a little odd, and the bookstore itself is REALLY odd, but they dive in with relish. Soon, however, someone comes looking for a special book, and disaster ensues. Can Property save her family, and their new livelihood? Can she outsmart the bad guys, even though she can’t read? (SPOILER ALERT: she can, and she does. It’s really all very cute!)

A quick, easy, charming read. The mystery is light and entertaining, not scary. There’s adventure that will appeal to young readers. And a smart, feisty cat! Property is a wonderful heroine who truly does save the day. Loved it.
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If you like Me. lemoncellos Library you will love The Bookshop Girl. Very cute, heartwarming read with a bit of a twist. Hooks you right in with lovable characters.
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The Bookshop Girl is a charming delight!  Property has an interesting story behind her name, but even more unusual is that she is an 11 year old girl living in a bookshop- and doesn’t know how to read.  Her explanation is one we can all relate to, and she proves her cleverness by being able to hide this secret and compensate with excellent powers of observation.  Ms. Bishop does an excellent job of setting up the story and then keeping the action moving, drawing the reader in to enjoy this rather hilarious romp into the world of forgeries and villains, and an ingenious solution. This book is a perfect transition for children into the works of Roald Dahl or Lemony Snicket - it has a similar mood to their works, with exaggerated characters, fantastic elements, and wonderfully colorful storytelling. I loved the amazing book emporium, the Gunther, and the clever play with words throughout.  Ms Bishop has packed a small tome with fun characters, a fascinating setting, and it is an Object of Wonder.
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Simply delightful and charming! Those who love books about books will find just that in this book. Sprinkled with a bit of magic and mystery this is a great book to delight the tastes of readers!
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The Bookshop Girl is a charming book about a young girl who was abandoned in a bookshop when she was five-years-old. The proprietor's son (Michael Jones) discovers her and puts her in the lost property cupboard, but she is soon taken out again by his mother, Netty. She is promptly adopted by Netty, and named Property Jones.

The three members of the Jones family seem to have a cozy life, and enjoy living in a bookshop despite not having any money. Every evening they share a ritual in which each of them read the same book. It never occurs to Netty or Michael that a five-year-old child might not know how to read. At first Property is content to just mimic Netty and Michael, and then she comes to love this ritual too, but feels ashamed that she never shared her secret with them. She is clever and soon figures out how to excel at helping out in the bookshop, so that no one guesses that she is illiterate.

Six years later, their cozy life is interrupted when they decide to take their chances and enter their names in a contest to win a famous bookshop in London. To their absolute amazement, they are chosen as the winners. Property feels a sense of loss at having to leave the little bookshop behind, but shares in her mother's obvious joy. The new bookshop is wondrous and magical. They fall in love with it immediately. Property is curious as to why the owner of the bookshop, a charming man named Mr. Montgomery, would choose to give up such an extraordinary and famous shop. It isn't long before the answer becomes apparent. The Jones family have to find their courage and do something a bit unorthodox if they are to keep possession of their precious shop.

There was so much to love about this book. For one, it had just the right blend of whimsy, darkness, and humor. For another, the characters were quaint and charming. This middle grade book is perfect for any bibliophile, young or old.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free galley to review. This was a 5 star read for me.
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The Bookshop Girl, by Sylvia Bishop, is a humorous and sweet chapter book for young readers. It follows the story of orphan Property, left behind in a bookshop when she was five years old. Property lives with the owner of the bookshop Netty Jones and her son Michael - who’ve become her family. But their bookshop is small, old - and they are strapped for cash. With hopes high, they enter a raffle to win the large, prosperous and wondrous Book Emporium. And in a stroke of luck and wonder - they win. 

The Jones’ lives are changed immediately when they find themselves admidst an amazing amount of endless bookshelves. And these aren’t just any normal bookshelves. They are shelves that change with the pull of a lever, whole rooms full of books of every theme, shape and size that lie behind ever-evolving doors. A story that is a family-feel good tale and an old-school, madcap mystery with steampunk elements  - The Bookshop Girl is bound to entertain readers young and old. Property is a loveably quirky character who, though very smart - keeps an unexpected secret. Her brother, mother, and the other minor characters and antagonists are also distinct and immediately likeable or unlikeable as well. The illustrations sprinkled throughout are delightful, and add to the overall charm of the story. 

An easy, quick read that would make a fun read-aloud or introduction to chapter books for a young reader, The Bookshop Girl is a story that feels both homespun and adventurous. It’s a book that celebrates books, a love of reading, being yourself - and what it means to be a family and be home. Last, it also gives readers a chance to see how others might be given second chances - and how every day is an opportunity  to find an Object of Wonder.

Thank you to NetGalley and Peachtree Publishers for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Property Jones lives in a bookstore with her adoptive family - Mom, Netty and brother, Michael.  When the family wins the Great Montgomery Book Emporium the three of them give up their little bookstore and move into the book emporium.  Property takes with her a long kept secret.

Oh what fun this middle school book was to read.  Property is one observant young lady and she uses her skills to save the family from a unpleasant dilemma.  By the end of the story, Property gets to unburden herself of her secret and discovers that all is right in her world.


I love reading middle school books with a positive message.  This was a fun and fast read.  I think this is just the book to give to a few lucky middle schoolers I happen to know.  I'm pretty sure they are going to like Property just as much as I did.


My thanks to Peachtree Publishers and Netgalley.
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ARC provided by NetGalley

Let me start off this review by saying that I have never felt so mixed about a book in a long time. There is a brief introduction to Property Jones (age 5) and her adoptive family, Michael (age 10) and Netty (Michael’s mother). Property’s parents abandoned her in the bookstore owned by Netty and Michael, the White Hart. Now, Netty did what any reasonable person would do — she took Property in and she became a part of the family.

The story begins six years latter and we catch up to Michael and Property as they first learn about a contest to win the Great Montgomery Book Emporium. *spoiler* — they win. It wouldn’t really be much of a story if they didn’t, right?

The first two chapters of the book has a handful of amazing illustrations that tell more of the story than the author does. Aside from a few generalizations, the characters are flat and not engaging. There was nothing that grabbed me and pulled me into the book. The chapters are on the long side and seemed to ramble on and not really say much.

Chapter three introduces Mr. Montgomery, the now former owner of the emporium, and Mr. Pink, a sinister looking man demanding the return of a valuable manuscript. It also introduces the wonderful, amazing, fascinating, Emporium. Unfortunately, we only get brief descriptions of several “rooms” but nothing more. I wanted to spend more time in the rooms, know the books and the customers who browsed them, but….no. We are also introduced to Gunther Armageddon the Third, a spunky kitten who takes an instant liking to Property. For some reason, Bishop opted to write “the Gunther” rather than just the cat’s name after introducing it. It became quite annoying after a while.

The story picks up its pace races for the finish line at chapter ten. I’m not going to give away too much, but everyone learned the following: (1) not to drink lemonade in a bookstore, (2) people can be easily duped
good things happen when you least expect it, (3) people always do the right thing in the end, and (4) family is family – no matter what.

The story picked up pace so fast, it never stopped to grow. While that may work for some middle grade, especially lower middle grade, it just doesn’t work here. I can see this book appealing to fans of Lemony Snicket, Jerry Spinelli, and Louis Sachar.

I was left wanting more, but not in a good way. I wanted to know more about the characters, more about the bookstore, more about everything. It felt rushed and superficial.

There are some good qualities to the book and the illustrations are FANTASTIC, so it did not warrant a three star rating, but there was so much left being wanted that I just could not give it five stars.
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The problem with this book is that I kept expecting it to be more than a light, pleasant story, and it’s not. If you’re not waiting for the deeper impact, I think this is a charming little middle grades book: Property Jones (so-named because she was abandoned in the Lost Property box at a bookstore) has found a happy home with the family who own that ragtag little bookshop. When they win the Montgomery Book Emporium — the world’s greatest bookstore — the whole family is thrilled. But the bookstore turns out to be more like a curse than a gift, and Property must save the day. That’s pretty much the whole story, but it’s a pretty charming story if you know that’s what you’re getting going in.
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Property can't read, not because she is stupid, but because she was never taught. Like many people who can't read, she has learned to make it look as though she can read, but either choses not to, or pretends she can.

And she works in a bookshop with her adopted mother and brother. (She was found in the bookshop when she was five).

What I enjoyed about this book is, the premise is set up, that Property can't read, but is very observant, and from there, the story roars around at a wickedly fast rate. The Joneses win a new, larger bookshop in a contest, move to London to take it over, and then learn that someone else has claims to it.

And they must solve this mystery.

And the floors of the bookshop move in and out, depending on what is needed, like a mutli-level lazy susan.

I like that the story moves quickly, that Property has to do what needs to be done, and all in all, because of her keen observation skills, wins the day, in a very funny way.

As another reviewer said, this story is bonkes, but that is ok. It is fun bonkers. And once you get past the fact that her mother should have taught her how to read, or sent her to school, or something, a good time will be had by all.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
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This was a charming book, engaging throughout and sparks the imagination.  I can imagine middle grade readers responding very strongly to it. 

Property Jones, whose origin story is amusing and whimsical, and her family enter a contest to win a famous bookshop.  When they get to the shop, they discover an ingeniously designed store with theme rooms that rotate and move, reminiscent of Charlie's Chocolate Factory.  Property has kept her inability to read secret from her family and events transpire that make use of the other specialized skills she has developed growing up in a bookshop. 

The events of the book are well plotted, though the end feels a little bit rushed.  Property is a fun character and her mother and brother are good companions, if not the most three dimensional characters ever. The villainous plot that they all foil is entertaining for both a well read reader and those just discovering the joy of reading.  

The illustrations that go with the text are cute and fit the overall tone of the writing style well.  
Overall the book is a lovely story of ingenuity and the joy of books.
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“An Object of Wonder” the Great Montgomery Book Emporium is the most wonderful – well, there’s no other word that fits it – bookstore ever. With hundreds of specialized rooms decorated according to the books kept there. Go to the “Room of Space Adventures” and see a room “painted all over in deep indigo, speckled with twinkling lights. The books were hanging from fine threads, so that they almost seemed to be floating in midair.” Then pull a lever and the room is replaced by an equally fantastic one. Not only is it a bookstore, it’s a mechanical bookstore. The Joneses are in blissful heaven – all this and it’s theirs. 

Or is it? Soon a dangerous villain appears, bent on taking it all away. Unless Property can figure out just what it is about him that niggles a faint question in her mind. There’s something about him and if she can figure it out – along with the help of her new and very fierce gray kitten Gunther – maybe Property – despite her long held secret – can save the day. And the bookstore! 

Well, I know that I want to visit the Great Montgomery Book Emporium. What reader wouldn’t? I love that young Property, a girl who observes everything, is the key to thwarting a villain and gets to be the heroine. The unconditional love of the Joneses is heartening too. I already have a fierce gray cat but I’m giving Gunther a home in my imagination. A-
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This book is recommended for children ages 8 to 12 from grade 3 to 7.  I loved everything about the book from the main character, a girl named Property,  to her adopted family and the circumstances they find themselves in.   The book has a bit of a mystery, some bad guys and a magical bookstore where the various genres of books are displayed in rooms that are artfully decorated and revolve like a Ferris wheel. The rooms were a delightfully creative touch.

Property can’t read even though she lives  with family members who love books. The more time that  goes by, the more she feels too embarrassed to tell her family the truth. The struggle  is real for her and a an interesting added  detail.  There are other little well-crafted details throughout that really add interest to the book.

I enjoyed the characters and hope the author will turn this into a series with adventures in the various bookstore rooms.
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The Bookshop Girl
by Sylvia Bishop Illus by Poly Bernatene
Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC
Peachtree Publishers
Middle Grade
Pub Date 01 Oct 2018
I am reviewing a copy of The BookShop Girl through Peach Tree Publishing and Netgalley:


This book is the perfect book for middle graders, full of a young hero who is trying to save her families Book Emporium from the grasp of a nasty villain.


Property Jones family owns the Book Emporium, they won it in a contest but Property has a secret, she can't read.


The quirky characters in this fun story allow for a fun, humorous read.


I give The Bookshop Girl five out of five stars!


Happy Reading!
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The Bookshop Girl by Sylvia Bishop is the story of Property Jones, a girl who was abandoned at a used bookshop when she was 5 years old. The Jones family takes her in and she helps run the bookshop. They win a raffle and receive ownership of The Great Montgomery Book Emporium. It's a marvelous world of books in a truly unique building, but there is a mystery to be solved. A feisty cat named Gunther helps Property and her family try to save the bookshop. It's a fun, action-packed, humorous mystery full of secrets, forgeries, adventure, and family bonding. Property learns to have confidence in herself and trust the love of family. All details are nicely tied up at the end. Also included is a Q&A with the author about the story and her writing process.
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“The Bookshop Girl” is a whimisical story about an illiterate young character, Property, who lives in a bookshop. This story has a similar feel to “A Wrinkle in Time” and pulls on the reader’s imagination to create the described world. My fifth grade self would have enjoyed reading about Property’s experiences and I will certainly recommend to this book to my students. 

I received an advanced reading copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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This was such a fun and adorable story about adventure, and books, and doing what's right. I loved the family aspect, and the cat. I'm ordering one immediately to give to my niece. Highly recommend to the little book lover in your life!
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I enjoyed this book. The cover is appealing, as is the plight of young Property. 

Property doesn't allow her illiteracy to limit what she can accomplish. I think that young readers who struggle with reading will find a suitable role model in Property. Despite challenges, she doesn't give up. To the contrary, she is at the forefront of every suitable plan to thwart her family's evil foes. Moreover, her attitude about reading is positive. She ultimately believes that she CAN read if given the chance to do so. 

As an aficionado of books, I appreciated the description of each bookstore included here and about reading in general. I loved reading about Property's mom and brother's bookaholic tendencies. While Property's mother is a bit of an airhead — what other mother would have such little world smarts that she would sign away her bookstore rights, sight unseen? — on the whole, she's a caring, compassionate woman, the type of kindred spirit always making endless pots of tea and comforting guests by offering a wide selection of reading material. 

Overall, this book was an engaging, enjoyable read. I look forward to reading other books by of Sylvia Bishop. This would make a wonderful series, though from what I gather from the conclusion this seems like it will just be a stand-alone book.
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There is nothing like a magical bookshop to dream about! I love books about these kinds of libraries! I think 3rd grade up will love this story. Especially those children who love libraries, book shops, reading, books, anything book related...! Great, fun read! The characters were loads of fun and I can't say enough about the setting!   I think it will appeal to children who enjoyed Roald Dahl.  Very British.
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Bishop, Sylvia. The Bookshop Girl. Peachtree Publishers, 2018.

Property Jones was abandoned in a bookshop when she was just five years old, and since then she has lived with the owners of the shop, who have raised her as their own. Their shop isn't doing well, until one day they discover that they have won a competition and stand to inherit The Great Montgomery Book Emporium! But with this new shop also comes a big mystery, and it's up to Property to get to the bottom of it. 

This is a nice, clean read for middle grade students. I found the idea of a five year old being abandoned in a book shop, and then simply taken in by the family, a bit of a stretch (why didn't five year old Property know her name or who her parents were?), but the target audience for this book will not have a problem with that in the slightest. Otherwise, it's a fun, light mystery set in a bookshop and will appeal to many readers.

Recommended for: middle grade
Red Flags: None
Overall Rating: 3/5 stars

Read-Alikes: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, Book Scavenger, The Mysterious Benedict Society

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Netgalley for the purpose of review.
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