The week that was: Reviews and Harbour views

Posted on November 7, 2014

harbour-view-suite-balcony_banner-01It’s been quite a week for The Mapmaker Chronicles and I. This time last week, I was waking up in the Penthouse suite of the Harbour Rocks Hotel… all thanks to a faulty air-conditioning unit in my original (far more humble) room down on the ground floor. I sat by my French doors, sipping on coffee, looking out over the Opera House (see left) and wondered if it was all a dream…

Given that an hour later I was addressing 65 year 7 boys about writing and, internally, reminding myself to ‘keep smiling, they can smell fear’, I’m thinking that maybe I made the whole Penthouse up. It was nice while it lasted, though…

I calculated last night that I’ve spoken to somewhere in the region of 1000 students in the past two weeks. And I’m still here to type the tale. Not bad for a rookie. We’ve added some Teachers’ Notes to the Mapmaker website, and the feedback has been terrific – if you’re a primary school teacher (or you know one) take a look!

I loved this take on the book by Kelly Exeter – all about life, curveballs and mapmakers (plus she has a book to give away…).

Anna Spargo-Ryan shared this wonderful story of her Dad, a birthday party and treasure maps. I think that Anna’s Dad and I would be firm friends – and I’d be signing up for his next treasure hunt.

Quinn has made his debut in Girl Power magazine, as well as appearing in this week’s Krash mag. The Mapmaker Chronicles has also been appearing in a range of reading guides, catalogues and reviews – my favourite this week is this one, by David, age 9, from the Kids’ Reading Guide. Thank you, David.

The Mapmaker Chronicles Review, Kids' Reading Guide


Have you ever been randomly upgraded?


  1. Sonia Life Love Hiccups

    Oh you lucky thing. Yep I was once upgraded for 3 nights to the penthouse at The Stamford in Brisbane. The very same bed John Farnham and Shirley Bassey and Harry Connick Junior had slept in. I honestly could not believe my luck! xx

    • Allison Tait

      Heavens! That’s quite the bed!

  2. Helen K

    What a week! We loved your book too (I am just battling a recalcitrant son who much prefers reading to commenting, but when I get something meaningful from him, will give you feedback. Fair to say though, demolished your lovely book in two days, which is a wonderful tribute!) Hope your son enjoyed his camp – mine is on an overnight sleepover at school – ‘precamp training’, I guess, for their first camp next year.

    And as for upgrades – I still cling to my upgrade from economy to first class now over 15 years ago. Not completely unexpected – flying back from London with my sister-in-law who was good friends with the purser (as he was called then). Only half the flight though, as they both stopped over in Singapore and, without him there, I was shunted back to cattle class (as we first class fliers like to call it). Shocking second half – I had been too excited, with my fine champagne, full stretched out seat, proper meals on proper plates and full movie choices (also not known on flights then), PJ set, etc, etc, to sleep, so a bit scratchy, and seated next to a man in his 70s who had never flown before. He was lovely but so, so, so in need of assistance every five minutes (how do you put the seat belt on again, how do you lower, raise the tray, push the seat back, etc, etc – come to think of it, good training for kids). It was a come down … but I cherish the time I had, brief though it was 🙂

    • Allison Tait

      LOL! Half an upgrade is better than none at all! And thanks for the feedback. 🙂

  3. Seana - Sydney, Kids, Food + Travel

    Hey Al, we are so enjoying the book. I’ve been insisting on reading it to Mr8 as it’s such a good book to share, and don’t want him to get ahead of me. Love a swashbuckling tale, and it’s so beautifully written, a real treat.

    • Allison Tait

      Thanks so much Seana! x

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