Author : Heidi Shamsuddin Illustrator : Lim Lay Koon Publisher's Review : by Peter Duke
In most good book shops you will find many historical novels based on past events written for adults but very few for children. Oyez!Books has just published Heidi Shamsuddin’s first historical novel for children around 9-12 years. This well written book has all the necessary ingredients for a good mystery yarn and is accompanied by Lay Koon’s black and white illustrations of the three heroes, two boys and a girl, and the historical figures.
There is a secret room hidden away behind the stairs next to the school science lab that takes the children back in time. But how can they make sure they are going to right place at the right time?
The heroes meet Tunku Abdul Raman, Malaysia’s first prime minister who is searching for the right music for a new national anthem to be introduced on the day that the country gains its independence from Britain in just a few days time.
The heroes discover the original source of the National Anthem and go back to tell Tunku where to find it. But it’s the wrong tune. Has someone else travelled back in time and altered history?
When the heroes try to unravel the mystery they are confronted by the school bully and his gang. How can they escape his unwanted attention?
Despite the mystery of the missing tune and the best efforts of the school bully, the heroes finally put history to right on the windswept deck of a ship in Southampton harbour in 1901.
Why Southampton harbour in the UK so far back in history? And what happens after that must remain a secret until you read the book.
Heidi’s second novel in the series about P Ramlee a Malaysian star of screen and stage is due to be launched in late July. This will be followed by six more novels. The collection will serve a dual purpose; encourage children to read and provide them with an insight into Malaysian history.