The Nowhere Emporium by Ross MacKenzie Age 8+

Whether is it is falling down a rabbit hole to Wonderland, climbing through a wardrobe to Narnia or scrambling up a tree to a magical land, children’s literature is full of stories of escaping to wondrous places and The Nowhere Emporium is a glittering example of just that. It opens up a fantastical world of imagination to the reader, embracing a sense of escapism and blurring the boundaries between reality and imagination. Before you even open it, the exquisite cover inspires you to read on. It is a beautiful, sparkling book that is even more wonderful when you begin.
Daniel is an orphan unhappily living in a children’s home in Glasgow. One day, as he is trying to outrun a group of bullies, he runs into a previously unseen shop to escape – The Nowhere Emporium, where he meets the enigmatic and mysterious owner, Mr Silver. This seemingly chance encounter begins a series of events that gives him a chance to not only escape the bullies, but ultimately to escape his unhappy life. The Nowhere Emporium is a place of pure fantasy – a grand, sprawling, breath-taking maze of wonders and Daniel is entranced its magic and by the mysterious characters who live there. Daniel becomes Mr Silver’s apprentice and he begins to learn the secrets of The Nowhere Emporium, and when its very existence is under threat Daniel must take responsibility to help save it and those who live there.
The story is cleverly balanced between Daniel’s experiences and the past tale of how The Nowhere Emporium came to be, strands which ultimately come neatly together. There is also a theme of loss that is sensitively dealt with throughout with Daniel still coming to terms with the death of his parents.
Overall The Nowhere Emporium is an enchanting and engaging fantasy that I absolutely loved. It is expertly written and a wonderfully enjoyable book which I definitely would recommend. I cannot wait to get started on the sequel, The Elsewhere Emporium!


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