Thursday, November 26, 2015

Review: The Delilah Dusticle Series by A.J. York

by A.J. York
Middle Grade Fantasy
ages 8+
102 pages


Delilah Dusticle has special powers. She can completely eradicate dust. With her quiver pouch of special dusters, Delilah can run up walls and reaches places others just can’t. As a maid in the Fenchurch-Whittington house, Delilah’s unusual skills soon lead to her being promoted to Chief Dust Eradicator and Remover. Until one day, a broken heart leads to her powers taking an expected turn. 

This is the first in a series of touching and funny stories about Delilah Dusticle. Follow her on a journey of self-discovery, friendship and adventure.


A suit of armour standing beside her in the hall coughed and shot out a puff of dust from its helmet. “Staff are not permitted to fraternise with the family and any shenanigans would lead to instant dismissal,” wheezed the armour. 

“Don’t I know it,” said Delilah who then waved her duster at the falling dust cloud making it vanish in mid-air. For good measure she selected her dandelion duster and polished the armour, who was very ticklish and kept giggling. She then made her way to the staff kitchen for dinner.


Firstly, I wish Delilah Dusticle was real because I'd be more than willing to hire her! Delilah is a maid, and not just any maid, but one with the talent of dusting. Of course, she doesn't dust like any other person would. Delilah is able to run up walls, has dusters of all sorts and colors and does a perfect job. Best yet, she's a loving, fun character, who's hard not to like from the first moment on.

Unlike many books for children, this one brings Delilah (an adult) to center stage and talks about her woes of the heart as well as new found friendships. Although this might seem like a big topic for kids, the author brings Delilah across in a such a whimsical way that kids will have no problem sympathizing for her and her troubles. 

Although there are several important messages presented in this story, fun is never far behind. Delilah's dust follows her like snow and the mouse in her apartment is simply cute. Even the scheme she makes with a new found friend to solve their troubles will have kids smiling.

The only thing I would have liked to see in this story is simply more illustrations. The text opens up to fantasy pure, and I believe kids could really fall into this if a few whimsical picture would accompany it. 

But this is a cute tale with a lot of heart, and I'm sure kids ages 8+ would especially appreciate it if read aloud to them.

by A.J. York

In this illustrated instalment, Delilah and the Dustbusters are invited to Transylvania to cater for the Hallow Eve Ball. All is not what it seems and Count Dracula has a very unusual request for Delilah.


After reading the first book in this series, I was curious where Delilah could go from there. And this story surpassed any expectations I might of had.

Where in book one, we learn to get to know Delilah, how she develops friendships and she wins over our hearts, this book brings her to a new level. Delilah isn't only good at dusting, it's now formed into a sort of super power--and a fun one at that. Delilah has come a long way from being simply a maid and now, helps her best friend, Abi, with a feather duster/duster business, a very successful one. During her daily dustings, she discovers that dust 'listens' to her...but after her dust problems in book one, this shouldn't be completely surprising.

I enjoyed this book more than the first one. Delilah now has a purpose, and it's a fun one. There are times which made me laugh and others which had me leaning back to think, but the entire time, I was engaged in Delilah's story.

The fantasy behind this is a delight--whimsical and just obscure enough from reality that it gains it's own form of brightness. In a way, it reminds me of Mary Poppins, but with a entirely different air of lightness and fantasy.

Summed up, I really enjoyed this and believe kids ages eight and up will cheer Delilah on as she overcomes whatever is thrown at her with loving ease.


There was also an ugly brown sponge that looked like a grumpy gargoyle with a squished face. Delilah called him Grumpy Sponge. He would suck up dust on contact, or, if Delilah was feeling sad, he would throw-up dirt on every surface.
Delilah wiped every book in the library with Grumpy Sponge, who would stick out his tongue and lick up any grime, and then she would do a quick sweep with Abi’s dusters to remove any small dust flakes. Delilah was leaning into the fireplace with Grumpy Sponge, who instead of licking up soot was now sucking up coal dust, when the lady of the house appeared. She looked about the room to ensure they were alone and then handed Delilah a letter. 
“It is from a very distant cousin of mine. He wishes to acquire your services for his annual event."
Delilah turned the letter in her hands. It was very strange indeed. It was an old, yellowed piece of folded cartridge paper with her name written in spindly pink writing on the front. On the back was a red wax seal, imprinted with the image of a winking bat.

And here is A.J. York!!!

A. J. York is the author of the middle grade fantasy series called The Delilah Dusticle Adventures. Born in Gothenburg, Sweden and raised in the UK, A.J. York's first love was telling stories through drama. 

"I have always enjoyed making up characters and their life stories, therefore I jumped at the chance to study theatre at the University of Brighton.  I later trained as a drama teacher and I have a Master's degree from Goldsmiths. I have gone back to my roots and I now live in Gothenburg. People have told me they love reading my stories and I hope you have fun reading them too!" A.J. York

Twitter: @delilahdusticle

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