readers’ reviews


Sarah’s SeaBEAN trilogy received 6 enthusiastic reviews from readers who contribute regularly to the Guardian in the Children’s Books section. Here they are:

10 June 2015: ‘SeaRISE is the latest instalment in the SeaBEAN trilogy. Not having read the other two of the SeaBEAN cli-fi thriller trilogy, I can tell you that after reading SeaRISE, you will want to!’ – Luke S

searise review

26 May 2015:  ‘I found the book a bit crazy and adventurous, but it also makes you think about things a lot’ – Dragonflame

dragonflame review

29 November 2014: ‘The serious edge to this book is that it talks about the ecological issues with the world and why we need to stop global warming so the world does not end up as it is in the book.’ – Booktrain125

grab of searise review

30 November 2014: You can see how what happens in one small place might be happening all over the world. If you are interested in the environment then this is the book for you.’  – Rider

seabean review 301114

2 June 2014: ‘SeaBEAN, my new favourite book’ – Polly

polly's review

21 December 2013:  ‘An awesome book’ – Booktrain125

Booktrain's review

There have been lots of lovely reviews posted on Amazon of SeaBEAN the trilogy from around the world, here is a selection:

Review by ‘Ancient Mariner’, Colorado, USA

SeaBEAN is on a whole different level. It is very well written; it has much, much more well-developed characters (than other chapter books for children this age); it devotes a lot of attention to, and invests a lot of creative energy into, the actual nature of the C-Bean transport device and its impact on the children of isolated St. Kilda. After the first few pages of this book you will be entirely taken by the heroine, Alice. Of course, there is a plot as well, and a number of engaging sub-plots. So: good, evocative writing, a strong narrative, engaging characters, an environmental message, and creative energy to burn. What a nice find.”

(click here to read the whole review)

Review by Ann, from Williamsburg, Virginia, USA

“What a wonderful children’s book, part of a new series. Alice lives on the island of St. Kilda off the coast of Scotland in 2018. A mysterious cube arrives as a gift to the school. It is called the C-Bean and it transports the children and their teacher to different places to study. This story will be loved by both boys and girls, 4th-8th grades. It’s an easy read and many adults will enjoy it too. It’s science fiction, fantasy and adventure rolled into one exciting story.”


Review by Joe Follansbee from Seattle, USA

“Told with a mixture of faux blog postings and conventional narrative, SeaBEAN is an enjoyable fantasy with a clear message about environmental stewardship.”


Review by Safie Maken Finlay, Ireland

“An absorbing and intelligent tale with a strong environmental angle, SeaBEAN tells the story of Alice, a ten year old girl who lives within a tiny community on the remote and isolated island of St. Kilda, far from the British mainland. Although some of the story is revealed through Alice’s blog and other parts in a third-person narrative, the two blend together well.”


Review by Joe Cortes, Spain

“Sarah Holding’s book is full of mysteries and action. Alice and her friends find themselves travelling around the world in the C-Bean, facing unknown dangers and probably a conspiracy that is bigger than themselves and the small island of St. Kilda. Can six children, a dog, a parrot and a third generation teleporting-virtual-reality-super-know-all-computer-and-mobile-classroom outsmart a Russian Oil Company and possibly a global conspiracy? Only one way to find out…”


Review by Hemantkumarjain, India

“Here I am… reading a book written for children. And I enjoyed it actually. SeaBEAN is an interesting sci-fi story that also educates young readers (kids) about the environment and nature and the damage some of us are causing to it and what can be done about it.”


Review by Mary Bernsen, Florida, USA

SeaBEAN is a clever story with a big lesson under it’s surface. It’s age-appropriate narrative and dialogue will appeal to the targeted audience as well as plant the seed of environmental awareness. The blog entry was a delightful touch! My seven year old loved every word of it. I could definitely see this being widely distributed amongst the schools here in the U.S. as well as internationally. Well done, Ms. Holding!”


Review by Saskia Bakker, Netherlands

“Children’s books seem to be divided between fantasy stories and realistic stories. This book combines both in a very creative way. Who would not want to have a classroom that really lets you experience the answers to your questions? The story is colourful and well written. If you buy it for your child, treat yourself to some lovely hours by reading it too. Or read it to your child and enjoy making up your own adventures with the C-Bean.”

And here are some quotes from letters Sarah’s received from fans who’ve loved SeaBEAN:

“This book is awesome!”

SeaBean is the best book I have ever read! I liked the story of Alice because it really shows that even though you might get hurt, you can still do amazing things. I also love the cover because when you put your warm hand on it, it shows the picture that’s hiding underneath all the darkness.”

SeaWAR was a real page turner, with great cliffhangers at the end of each chapter. There was a lot of information to take in, so it may be more suitable for age 10+, or to read aloud with an adult. Like the last book, this one has a thermochromic cover which changes colour with body heat. Seriously cool!”

“As soon as I read the first chapter and blog I really didn’t want to stop! I brought the book to my school and many of my friends and some of the teachers started reading it too!” 

“It is an easy book to read aloud and in your head so you can read it to your smaller kids as well. Sarah Holding came into my school to do a workshop for Y6. We learnt how to write thrilling and awesome stories in creative writing lessons.”

“It’s an excellent book full of thrilling adventures with the C-Bean, a Portuguese speaking parrot, a dog, and some adventurous children! I also like the original front cover of the book – it lights up when it heats up.”