Cover Image: Amanda in Holland

Amanda in Holland

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Thanks to NetGalley and Central Avenue Publishing for providing me with a free ARC in return for an honest review. I must be honest with you, this book exhausts me! This is the 7th trip for Amanda, I had never read the first 6 books in the series but it is easy to follow nonetheless, and here she goes on a trip to Holland. Now Amanda lives in Canada, and I gather that she has made friends with a similar aged girl named Leah who lives in England. Also, I gather that Amanda's mom must allow her to fly off by herself to meet her friend for these journeys. Here she is meeting Leah and her Dad in Holland, and so begins this young girls travelogue, adventures and misadventures. I gather Amanda must be somewhere between ages 11-13. Here Leah and Amanda get the run of the country as Leah's dad is in meetings all day, every day. I find it rather scary that these two young girls are allowed to roam all over Holland without any parental supervision, and they also see every sight possible. If they are not sightseeing they are eating, and if they are not eating Amanda constantly gets into trouble. I find this entire book a little hard to believe as adult reactions are not normal, and the book is just the girls racing to one tourist site to another, eating again and again, and getting into some pretty serious problems. Maybe pre-teen girls will like Amanda and consider her plucky, I consider her spoiled and lucky.
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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.
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Thank you NetGalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I picked up this book because Holland is in my bucket list. This is my first time to read from this author. She didn't disappoint me. I wish I was with Amanda and Leah as they visited the canals, Anne Frank's house, the tulip gardens and windmills. It was exciting reading it through their eyes. I loved the mystery part of the book too. It was a fun and quick read. I'll definitely look up her other books and share it with my nieces.
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This ultra-modern of the Amanda series has the 12-year-old traveling Holland, meeting her British friend, Leah, who's there together with her father.  While he does some business, they'll sightsee. Another reason for Amanda’s is to look if she will learn anything approximately her amazing uncle who changed into missing in action in the Netherlands all through World War Two. As inside the last book I read, the records and geography of the region are enveloped into the story pretty seamlessly. Amanda and Leah go to Anne Frank’s home and learn information beneficial and appropriate for his or her age. There is likewise cultural detail, point out of the dikes and water situation and environment. And Amanda learns of the function of the Canadian forces in liberating Holland, using out the German army all through WWII.
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This was a surprisingly interesting and engaging book. It had aspects that I really enjoy, including being based in The Netherlands, which is where my mother was born and the culture I grew up in, as well as a puppy and notion of animal welfare and care. I loved the setting of the book and it really took me back to when I visited Amsterdam with my parents and visited places in the book, such as the Anne Frank House. The feeling the book and setting gave me was quite nostalgic, whilst also highlighting themes that I am passionate about and enjoy teaching children; animal welfare and high levels of animal husbandry. Amanda in Holland was a really enjoyable read and I recommend middle grade readers give it a go.
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This is the third Amanda Travels I've read, and in it, Amanda, 12, is heading to the Netherlands to join her British friend Leah Anderson and her father, who is there on business. Of course, the girls are there to see the sights, learn about Holland's history and culture, but Amanda has another purpose to be there. She would like to solve the mystery of what happened to her great uncle Harold, who went to the Netherlands with the Canadian army during World War II and never return home.

No sooner do the girls meet up in Amsterdam, then Amanda spots a cardboard box sitting beside some smelly garbage after hearing a cry come from it. Inside is a little brown and white puppy. When they ask a girl named Lisa working in a nearby cheese shop if she knows anything, she tells them no but it has been happening to dogs a lot lately.

Amanda and Leah decide to try and find a home for the puppy, now named Joey, which leads to meeting Jan. In fact, they seem to run into Jan everywhere they go, even giving him a ride to his grandparents home in the country when Mr. Anderson heads that way for a business meeting. Once in the country, the plot thickens and soon Amanda is involved in solving the mystery of a missing gardener, the theft of some rare tulip bulbs, and the mysterious woman bike-riding woman who keeps turning up. And is Jan involved in the tulip bulb mystery, despite his wonderful, welcoming family?

I didn't find the mysteries in this book as interesting as in previous books. They felt a little forced and therefore convoluted. I think solving the mystery of what happened to Uncle Harold would have been sufficient, given what Amanda discovers about him. And just finding a home for Joey would a nice subplot that exposed the cruelty of puppy farms. Added to these, sightseeing and accompanying information about the Anne Frank House, the tour of the wooden shoe factory, the visit to a windmill, the magic of the tulip fields, and rides through Hollands famous canals in a long boat really make the story interesting and gives readers a nice armchair journey to the Netherlands.

And that is what I like about the Amanda Travels series. It take young readers to places of interest, and provides usual and unusual sightseeing as Amanda meets different people and learns about their culture, and enjoys traditional foods in each place. In Holland, she ties such things as Hotchpotch Stamppot, a "Dutch dish of mashed potatoes mixed with carrots and onions, a meatball, sausages, and bacon," a meal I wouldn't mind trying.

So even though the mystery in Amanda in Holland is just ok, I would still recommend it, but especially to any readers interested in travel and mysteries, family, and friendship.

This book is recommended for readers age 9+
This book was provided by the publisher, Central Avenue Publishing, through NetGalley
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This latest of the Amanda series has the 12 year old visiting Holland, meeting her English friend, Leah, who is there with her father. While he does some business, they will sightsee. Another goal of Amanda’s is to see if she can learn anything about her great uncle who was missing in action in the Netherlands during World War Two.

As in the last book I read, the history and geography of the area is enveloped into the story quite seamlessly. Amanda and Leah visit Anne Frank’s house and learn information useful and appropriate for their age. There is also cultural detail, mention of the dikes and water situation and environment. And tulips of course. And Amanda learns of the role of the Canadian forces in liberating Holland, driving out the German army during WWII.

There is a rather convoluted plot involving dogs and tulips which I found a bit exaggerated but young people might not. It brought intrigue and excitement to the story and I know I loved that in the books I read at that age.

All in all Amanda is an interesting character who exposes the reader to new people and places. And that is to be applauded!

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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Mysteries for middle grade students can be hard to come by.  You want a book that has a decent mystery and plot with enough clues that it could be figured out - not too easy, not too challenging.  This one suffers a bit from not really enough substance but it is serviceable enough for collections needing more mysteries.  I did not know this was a series when I requested it...  it would be better to read the whole series I think.
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Amanda in Holland
Missing in Action

by Darlene Foster

Central Avenue Publishing

Children’s Fiction , Middle Grade

Pub Date 03 Sep 2019

I am reviewing a copy in Amanda in Holland through Central Avenue Publishing and Netgalley:

Amanda is in Holland with her friend Leah, where they see all the sites. They go to see the Tulip Fields, Windmills, Canals, Anne Frank’s House, even a wooden shoe factory.

Amanda is also hoping to find out more about her great uncle who never returned from the Second World War.

What Amanda does not expect is to find a and fall in love with an abandoned puppy named Joey. When she is looking for a home for Joey, she meets Jan, a Dutch not who offers to help, a suspicious gardener, a strange woman on a bicycle, and an overprotective goose named Gerald.

Follow Amanda around Holland as she encounters danger and intrigue while trying to solve another mystery in a foreign country.

If you are looking for a good action packed book for a middle grade girl Amanda in Holland is one I recommend!

Five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!
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Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action

A delightful travelogue, with a mystery tied in! It reminded me of Nancy Drew between ages 8 – 12, and set down in recent times. Amanda has the same kind of independence, bright-eyed thinking and mature, thoughtful communication with others, known and unknown. And who can resist puppies? Yes, a puppy is involved, along with windmills, Dutch accents, and baked goods.

This will most appeal to young readers, but as an adult reading through the fast-paced story, I loved the descriptions of all the places through which Amanda traversed. The details were many and specific and helpful. There were Dutch language bits sprinkled throughout, and colorful culture details added in by passersby who were overhearing narrative, leaned in and gave the girls explanatory tips, and that was fun. Felt almost like a fourth wall breach. . . but not quite, since it wasn’t done by a named character with more standing to do so. 

The older readers will appreciate the historical notes and memorials that the girls travel to, including the house that was home to Anne Frank's family during WWII. Amanda's tender feelings reach out to Anne through time, a nice moment captured by the author; many readers have done the same at one time or another when considering Anne's wistful too short life.

I was amused and mildly concerned at Leah’s father’s constant meetings. The amount of time the girls were left to themselves was concerning. Still, they had a lot to do, which couldn’t have done it without a generous dollop of guardian neglect.

I enjoyed this book for Amanda herself, but also for all the other parts and pieces. This was my first Amanda Ross book. I’m going to seek out more to see all the places Amanda travels, and I’m definitely introducing my granddaughter to Amanda this summer!

Sincere thanks to Darlene Foster, Central Avenue Publishing, and NetGalley for the ARC copy I was given to read and review!!
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Amanda in Holland is a story about a 12 year old girl who takes a trip to the Netherlands and while on her trip there is she not only finding out information about her uncle who was a solider during WW2 and went missing in action but she does a lot of sight seeing. While sight seeing she starts to notice that something strange is going on with people she keeps on repeatedly meeting with.

I want to start off by thanking Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of this book. I requested to read this book because my name was in the title. I was highly impressed with this book.  I loved how the author wove facts about the country along with the storyline and kept it so interesting. This book is recommended for children but highly enjoyed traveling to the Netherlands with Amanda!
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This book had a little too much going on (a puppy/tulip mystery, a family history to uncover, and a whole lot of sightseeing). However, that might be about right for the 8-12-year-old crowd.
The book did a great job of briefly introducing readers to important places and facts of the Netherlands. All the highlights are here: the tulips, the Anne Frank House, Rembrandt, wooden shoes, cheese, bicycles, stroopwafel, the cat boat, the floating flower market, windmills, and the list goes on and on). Any child who has a bit of interest in travel and learning about other countries would probably be fascinated by this whirlwind tour of Holland.
It also hits lightly but skillfully on the emotional punch that places like the Anne Frank House can have, which is good even for younger readers to contemplate. Since not all kids can travel and experience firsthand the power of walking in the footsteps of history, the next best thing is reading about a girl who does it for them.
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Darlene Foster's Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action (2019) follows the heroine, Amanda Ross, as she makes a trip to Holland to visit friends and try to unravel what happened to an Uncle who never returned from WWII--declared missing in action. If you follow the Amanda series, you know that Amanda cannot travel without getting into trouble, causing mischief, or solving mysteries despite her young age. In this story, Amanda rescues a thrown-away puppy named Joey, tracks down a missing gardener, and helps to solve the theft of rare tulip bulbs. She does all this while exploring the culture and excitement that is found nowhere but Holland. Besides the Anne Frank house and the famous Holland canals, Amanda enjoys:

"...banket, a puff pastry filled with an almond paste."

"...Hotchpotch Stamppot, a traditional Dutch dish of mashed potatoes mixed with carrots and onions,"

"...Bloemenmarkt. It is the world’s only floating flower market.”

The story is told in a conversational voice that will draw all readers in and deftly mixes the cultural details with how Amanda engages in and solves the mystery.

I received an ARC copy of this book but it is available for pre-sale now for delivery in September 2019. This would be a great gift for a child to celebrate the end of summer or a favorite teacher to add to their classroom library (or the school librarian, of course). It's an uncommon book in that it takes children through the clever bits and pieces of Holland not found in any other nation without feeling like a travelogue.

The series includes:

Amanda in Arabia

Amanda on the Danube

Amanda in Spain

Amanda in New Mexico

...and more. This book and the entire series is highly recommended for elementary age and Middle School children and parents.
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Having never read an Amanda book before, I did not know what expect. What I found was a pleasant excursion around Amsterdam, and the surrounding area, coupled with a mystery, new friends and a puppy. The book holds enough excitement and clues to keep the young reader wanting to solve the mystery and to lead them to a conclusion and is a great way to introduce the important/must see places in Holland. 

It would make a good read before going, to enable the reader to choose places to visit, but just as valid afterwards, so that they could recognise some of the places they had discovered.
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ARC Copy...although I wished it was was short sweet packed with Amsterdam vintages, city highlights and history moments (in particular Canada-Dutch relations).
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I received this arc from netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

I have not read any of the other Amanda books at this time.
Things I liked:
-Holland is a pretty cool setting, and I liked how some of the local places were mentioned.

Things I didn't like:
-Amanda seemed a little young. Also it seemed like she fell into or got locked in places quite a bit.
-the mystery was really obvious in my opinion. 

Overall: younger readers may enjoy this, as it is a mystery in a foreign country,  so that adds a little excitement.
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Amanda is at it again!  This time author Darlene Foster writes a fun and engaging story about Amanda's adventures in Holland.  This middle school reader book is a charming read and one that I enjoyed probably every bit as much as someone in the target audience will.  The Amanda series gives readers a really fun adventure every time.

Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action has a great conversational read style and one of the things that I loved the most is that Ms. Foster incorporates a lot of history and facts into the story to give the reader a lot of information about the country that Amanda is exploring. From Anne Frank to tulips to wooden shoes to windmills Amanda experiences. 

Of course there has to be a little adventure and mystery thrown into for excitement and this book does not disappoint in that area.   Add a lost puppy into the mix and the story takes on even more fun. 

I loved this book and know that young readers will race through the pages quickly to discover a fabulous ending.  Thanks to Darlene Foster for an ARC of this adorable and fun book
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