I reviewed it here. It was alright. It did not leap out at me, perhaps because it struck me as a slightly more serious children?s film foundation attempt. In Italian.

I got the book for my birthday. Problem is I have seen the film, so I know what happens. And this is a story where, for at least the first half, there is a real unfolding sense of mystery. The mystery was not there for me, so instead I had to concentrate on the evocation of place (equally competing with the overly lush visuals of the film). The book is a first person memoir, and as such we do get to identify more with Michele than we do in the film (and perhaps at least vaguely understand why he acts the way he does). But this was not enough for me to ever shirk the film off. Would I have loved it if I had not seen the film? Maybe. Looking at my comments on the film, I think they hold for the book too: it is a grown up, evocation of a realistic version of the Famous Five. Do I want that? I am still not sure.