Well, that was a slog.
I picked this up because the series was a favorite of mine from childhood, and this was the only book my local library had. Sadly, it's not one of those books that stands up well to adult reading, mostly because of the clunkiness of the writing. (Some samples: "She froze into immobility." "The air was filled with a scent of excitement expressed from a thousand adrenal glands.") The pacing is also rather odd, and the titular main character ends up doing almost nothing until the book's final chapters. I'm tempted to look up the earlier books in the series to see if they hold up better; I could have forgiven a lot if only the protagonist was protaging. But on the balance, it's probably better not to.