The Adventures of Isabelle Necessary
One gutsy eleven-year-old, a cool beach town, a hilarious crew of friends and oodles of adventures.
Once upon a beach, there was a girl called Isabelle Necessary. A girl with an unusual name and a rather extraordinary life. She roams around a sleepy beach town with her loyal team of friends. Follow Isabelle, Tammy, David, Nin, Draino the cat and Champ the wonder dog as they navigate one sticky situation after another and figure out how to turn a frog into a movie star, deal with a never-ending milkshake and escape being trapped in a lighthouse.
The type of book that brings back childhood memories and captures the essence of being a free-spirited kid.
Perfect for teachers and educators as the book comes with a teacher’s resource guide and student maker kit by Isabelle Necessary herself. Middle-grade reading level.
Here is an excerpt from chapter twelve, “Isabelle Necessary goes Horse Riding.” In this story, Isabelle goes horseback riding with her friends, Tammy and Nin, and a very serious riding instructor named Peony.
The ponies whinnied. They flicked their ears and stamped their feet. The girls stamped their feet and giggled while Peony wasn’t looking.
‘All right, ladies, let’s get you into the saddle. Hold the neck and the saddle like this, and then put your left boot … oh, well, put whatever those shoes are into the stirrup and heft yourselves up, swinging your right leg over the saddle.’
Isabelle tried, but it was such a long way up to the saddle. She put her left foot in the stirrup and bounced up and down on her right foot, but she could only get halfway up. Nin was bouncing, too, and Tammy couldn’t remember which foot went where. Isabelle got the giggles.
‘You there, Tammy, is it?’ Peony said to Tammy, ‘you’ve got the wrong foot in the stirrup. Oh dear, beach folk.’ She went to each girl and gave her an annoyed shove up into the saddle.
Oh dear, beach folk, the girls mouthed to each other when they were in the saddle.
It was such a long way up from the ground and the ponies wriggled a little. It was very different from being on a bicycle, but the girls thought it was so exciting.
‘Hold your reins thusly,’ said Peony from where she sat on her horse, Misty. ‘My perfect ponies are very well trained and they’re used to helping novices, so don’t be worried, they will do all the thinking. Now just give them a little dig in the ribs and we’ll be off.’
The ponies started walking and the girls all squealed with delight.
‘This is excellent!’
‘Well, yes, ladies, riding is wonderful, and unlike the beach, you have no need to get all gritty, grotty, wet and uncouth.’
‘I feel more couth already,’ whispered Tammy.
The three girls followed behind Peony, but they were so busy taking turns imitating the snobbish Peony that they didn’t see the thin branches covered in dark shiny leaves hanging low across the sandy bush track ahead.
Nin was the first to be caught. She squealed with surprise as the leaves flicked her face like a crazy green flyswatter. She tried to duck under the branch, but all she did was release the tension on the branch. It swung back and flicked Isabelle and Tammy. There was even more squealing. The girls wriggled and jumped about in their saddles.
‘Do I have spiders on me?’ Nin called out.
‘I’m sure I can feel a spider on my neck.’ She rocked and wobbled on top of her pony, trying to turn around and swat her imaginary spider.
The three ponies were bunching together because the girls had stopped giving them any directions.
Isabelle checked Nin’s back. ‘I don’t see any spiders.’
‘But you do have a big spider’s web on your helmet,’ said Tammy.
‘Then there must be a spider there, too,’ said Nin. ‘Can you see it? What kind is it?’
‘No spiders,’ said Isabelle. ‘Truly.’
They stayed bunched together, double- and triple-checking for spiders. The ponies were bumping into each other. They were snorting and stomping, and their ears were twitching.
‘What on earth is this fuss about?’ scolded
Peony as she swung Misty around and came back to glare at the girls. ‘A good horsewoman pays attention to her surroundings, and she does not let go of her pony’s reins.’ Peony’s face was crimson.
She pulled the ponies free of the tangle and urged them forward again. ‘Girls, try to concentrate or you will never become horsewomen.’
Peony huffed and faced forward again, nudging her horse’s sides lightly with her boots. The ponies trotted along behind her, making the girls plop up and down in the saddle, and wobble around like jelly.
‘Bikes are much easier,’ said Isabelle, ‘and less jiggly.’
‘That’s because you’re not a horsewoman,’ said Tammy in a posh voice, mimicking Peony.
‘Horsewoman—part girl, part horse, defender of Saggy Beach,’ Isabelle said in a loud whisper.
They all laughed as they followed Peony down the sloping trail.
‘We’re going to stop and give the ponies a little drink at the creek,’ Peony announced. She stopped at the pebbly creek bank. ‘My babies will be awfully thirsty after all this … fussiness.’
The girls tried to look sensible.
‘Now, ladies, we’re going to dismount and give the ponies a little rest. Just try to do what I tell you and no one should fall.’ She gave the girls instructions for getting down from their saddles. With some sliding and flopping, they managed to get to the ground safely.
‘Beach folk,’ chided Peony.
She was so busy rolling her eyes at the three girls that she didn’t notice Misty, impatient for a drink, stretching her head down to reach the cool creek water. Peony was, of course, holding Misty’s reins firmly because she was a very good horsewoman. Misty stretched her neck, but couldn’t reach the cool, rippling water. She was very thirsty, so she pulled even harder.
Peony was yanked forward and tumbled headfirst into the swirling creek water. Misty snuffed impatiently at the splash Peony made as she hit the water, moved her head away and started drinking quietly.
About the author.
Martii Maclean lives in a tin shack by the sea, catching sea-gulls which she uses to make delicious pies, and writing weird stories. She likes going for long bicycle rides with her cat, who always wears aviator goggles to stop her whiskers blowing up into her eyes as they speed down to the beach to search for mermaid eggs. Or how about this…
Martii Maclean writes fantastical, adventurous tales for children and teens and sometimes adults. She was born in Sydney, Australia and now lives in Brisbane with her husband Trevor and her cat Minerva. Her work as an educator and librarian, allows her to share her love of stories and of story-telling with many young people. This inspires Martii to create thought-filled stories that explore the wonderful world of ‘what if’.