Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Book Review | THE PAWNSHOP OF STOLEN DREAMS by Victoria Williamson

by Victoria Williamson
Publication: May 11, 2023
Publisher: Tiny Tree Books
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★

In a strange little village called Witchetty Hollow, eleven-year-old Florizel is the first to run into the curious visitors who've come to open a brand-new Daydream Delicatessen and sack-baby factory.

At first, it seems the daydream confection and cheap sack children are the best things that could have happened to the poor folk of the Hollow - after all, who has the money to rent their child from Storkhouse Services these days? But after a few weeks, Florizel starts to notice something odd happening to the adults of the town. First, they seem dreamy, then they lose all interest in their jobs and families. Soon they're trading all their worldly goods in the newly opened Pawnshop for money to buy daydreams. With no money for rent payments, the children of Witchetty Hollow are being reclaimed by Storkhouse Services at an alarming rate. Florizel needs to act.

A magical tale of intrigue and adventure from award-winning children's author Victoria Williamson.

THE PAWNSHOP OF STOLEN DREAMS follows the adventures of eleven-year-old Florizel, as she uncovers the sinister business established by Gobbelino Corporation at Witchetty Hollow.

Victoria Williamson weaves an eerie tale of adventure, friendship, and everything thought-provoking. In this richly imagined world, daydreams are a commodity and children are rented out to families. Only the rich can afford the talented and promising kids, and so, Florizel must play dull-witted to keep the rent low and remain with Gammer Oakenshaw. Being bullied for her low grades, unkept clothes, and strange lunches for school, she has always kept her head down… until Burble, an actual sack-boy.

For a Middle Grade, this book challenges some very intense topics. And yet, Williamson never strayed from her whimsical prose. This book is like Matilda on one hand, and Pinocchio on the other. After so many years, I didn't realize I could adore another made-believe boy. 'Tis absolutely hard to review without giving away any spoilers. With its unique concept and (absolutely) brilliant cover, this story will stay with the reader for a long time. 

If you keep a list of eerie books for Middle Grade like Coraline, A Monster Calls, or The Book of Lost Things, I highly recommend that you add this book too. 


*Big thanks to @TheWriteReads and Tiny Tree Books, for letting me join this blog tour and for giving me access to an e-book in exchange for this honest opinion.

About the Author:

Victoria Williamson is an award-winning author who grew up in Scotland surrounded by hills, books, and an historical farm estate which inspired many of her early adventure stories and spooky tales. After studying Physics at the University of Glasgow, she set out on her own real-life adventures, which included teaching maths and science in Cameroon, training teachers in Malawi, teaching English in China and working with children with additional support needs in the UK. Victoria currently works part time writing KS2 books for the education company Twinkl and spends the rest of her time writing novels, and visiting schools, libraries and literary festivals to give author talks and run creative writing workshops.

Victoria’s previous novels include The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle, The Boy with the Butterfly Mind, Hag Storm, and War of the Wind. She has won the Bolton Children’s Fiction Award 2020/2021, The YA-aldi Glasgow Secondary School Libraries Book Award 2023 and has been shortlisted for the Week Junior Book Awards 2023, The Leeds Book Awards 2023, the Red Book Award 2023, the James Reckitt Hull Book Awards 2021, The Trinity School Book Awards 2021, and longlisted for the ABA South Coast Book Awards 2023, the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2020, and the Branford Boase Award 2019.

Her latest novel, The Pawnshop of Stolen Dreams, is a middle grade fantasy inspired by classic folklore. Twenty percent of the author royalties for this book are donated to CharChar Literacy, an organization working to improve children’s literacy levels in Malawi.

You can find out more about Victoria’s books, school visits and free resources for schools on her website:


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