On his deathbed, Ellie's pop reveals a secret - a magical button-box. It's a musical instrument from the Gleam country - a land far from Spit Farm and the mountains, with talking goats, sweet grass and corn that grows so high you have to fell it with an axe. But the button-box's magic is sinister.
When Ellie plays it, flowers bloom and crops spring up overnight - but soon the farm is cursed by drought and her beloved Oma is gravely ill. To save her Oma and discover the truth about her own identity, Ellie must embark on a dangerous journey to the Gleam country - the only place where the evil button-box can be destroyed.
Julie Hunt is highly skilled at creating a world of characters and settings that draw you in, and make you want to keep reading, making Shine Mountain a perfect fantasy novel for lower secondary readers.
When Ellie’s grandfather realises his time to die is fast approaching, he gathers all his family around him one last time. When he plays a magical button-box just before his death, this sets off a chain reaction across the land.
Ellie must take the button-box back to where it was made so she can destroy it and save the land from destruction.
Along the way, Ellie must face the story of who her true family really is and where this path will lead her.
Full of adventure and truly wonderful characters, this story of perseverance, courage, friendship and family will stay with you long after you close the covers.
I highly recommend Shine Mountain to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy story.
Reviewed by Michelle