Book review: By Anna Salmon, aged 7 years old
Recently we’ve been listening to an audio version of The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner, so it was very exciting when we visited my grandparents and they took us to Alderley Edge in Cheshire. This is where the story is set and you can see the places like Stormy Point where unique and unknown creatures came pouring out of the ground when Susan and Colin wandered there.
Alderley Edge has lots of old mines, where people used to dig up semi-precious stones such as azurite, malachite and cobalt. Malachite and azurite are both kinds of copper ore, so they used to be melted down to get the metal out and then used to make things like coins or ornaments, or mixed with other metals to make bronze. There are lots of stones lying around now, which you can tell by their colour are malachite or azurite. I picked up a tiny piece of malachite and a slightly bigger piece of azurite to bring home. The malachite is green – because copper goes green when exposed to oxygen – and the azurite is blue. We saw some cobalt ore as well and that was black. There were tiny pieces of quartz all over the place, which made the rocks look sparkly in the sun.
From Stormy Point you can see loads of the landscape, past trees to the city and beyond. It’s an amazing view. You climb up a shallow slope and then when you reach the level land on top you can see for miles. There’s a steep drop that side, because the ground is sort of folded up so that one side of the hill is shallow and the other almost a cliff.
It’s a great place for walking dogs – we saw several. Fortunately everyone seems to be good at picking up after them! There’s a wooden playground which is really good fun. There’s a hill with a dip in one side and the National Trust (who own the land and look after it) have put a log across the dip like a bridge. There are also logs around the edges which you can walk along and some of the standing-up logs are chopped into to leave tall stumps, which you step on and go from one to the next, even though they get taller and shorter. It’s quite a challenge – Daddy and Granddad held my hand while I walked on them.
There’s a special tree at Alderley Edge which is like the ones people thought King Charles hid in during the Civil War, when he was hiding from the Roundheads. It has two trees merged together, where with an ancient oak tree lying in the middle. When an acorn fell into the gap and grew up to be another oak tree, it filled the gap inside the first one. There’s still a little bit open at the bottom of the outside trunk so it looks like a tree with lots of layers. Apparently King Charles hid in trees like that where the gap was still empty and he could squeeze inside.
We exerted ourselves very well that day and it was very very fun. At the end of the trip we all had an ice-cream. That was a lovely treat!
What is your favorite adventure based on a book you have read?