The past is revealed in a museum

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 November, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 November, 2009, 12:00am

The Museum's Secret
Henry Chancellor
Published by Oxford
ISBN 978 0 19 272084 9

Museums are the perfect places to hide secrets, as the hit Night at the Museum proved.

Unlike Hollywood museums, the Scatterhorn in The Museum's Secret has seen better days. Very few visitors pass through its doors, and the exhibits are moth-eaten and covered in dust.

But this forgotten, lonely place holds a dramatic secret one young boy is soon to discover.

Eleven-year-old Tom Scatterhorn's parents are on adventures of their own. Tom is packed off to stay with his boring aunt and uncle who run the museum in the remote town of Dragonport.

The ancient aunt and uncle are as dismal as the museum they run, and the exhibits that make up the museum are just a joke.

The first few chapters of The Museum's Secret neatly set up the mystery that is to unfold. And the title gives a hint as to what is going to happen. One night Tom discovers the stuffed animals on display, created by a mysterious taxidermist more than 100 years ago, come to life.

He finds a portal in the museum that enables him to travel back to the time when the museum was first opened.

He has also found an elixir of life that a rival wants to get his hands on.

Tom finds himself in an adventure that involves time travel, mysterious insects, a magic potion, a sinister girl and magical chocolate cake.