Evelyn is seventeen, and though she is rich and clever, she may never be allowed to follow her older brother to university. Enraged that she is expected to marry her childhood sweetheart rather than be educated, she joins the Suffragettes, and vows to pay the ultimate price for women’s freedom.
This was a fascinating and very challenging book to write. It has three main characters and takes place over four years, four years, moreover, filled with many hugely important historical events, both for the world and for the suffrage movement.
Monday’s Child is Fair of Face
Tuesday’s Child is Full of Grace
But Ella is Very Upset.
Ella’s brother Sam is sick, and Ella is sick of Sam. Life revolves around him, and no one has time for Ella. They don’t even know what day she was born on!
Can Ella work it out for herself?
It’s a sensitive and moving story, beautifully told…
When Charlie the telegram boy breaks his leg and can’t ride his bicycle, Billy Button sees his chance. He has always wanted to be a telegram boy, delivering messages all over the village on the red Post Office bicycle. Soon Billy is zooming about all over the place with news of new babies, sick sisters and sweethearts coming to visit. He even has a chance to put a few things right with a special ‘extra’ telegram or two.
“there are moments of lovely humour, underscored by the delightful illustrations of Sheena Dempsey and the text and pictures marry together beautifully to make this a really gorgeous little tale.”
Siblings Jonathan, Holly and Davy have been struggling to survive since the death of their mother, and are determined to avoid being taken into care.
When the family’s wealthy but eccentric Great Aunt Irene has a stroke, they go to visit her. Unable to speak or write, she gives Holly some photographs that might lead them to an inheritance that could solve all their problems.
But they’re not the only ones after the treasure …
“…it is impossible not to be moved by what they discover on the idyllic island … It’s understated, and all the more touching for that.”
Clare knows she’s at least partly to blame for her problems at school, but she’s learned that it hurts to make friends when you’re a foster kid and you’ll just be moved on again.
It’s a relief to meet Maddy, who knows exactly what it’s like to be in the system. But then Maddy disappears. Clare has opened her heart at last, and she can’t let it go – will she find her friend?
“I loved this book. There’s a paranormal twist which would normally put me off, but it was perfectly done and totally in keeping with the story. The characters are brilliant too…”
Eleven-year-old Olivia has been in care since she was five, and is just beginning her sixteenth placement. Her new home is a secluded farmhouse, centuries old, where she slowly bonds with her foster family.
But the house holds dark secrets. Olivia discovers that it was once a notorious baby farm, where unwanted children were left to die. She becomes convinced that the place is haunted. She is desperate to save her new family from the ghosts. The danger is real – but does it come from the twisted mind of a very disturbed child?
“…though Close Your Pretty Eyes is a hard read in many ways, because there is a relentlessness to the sadness, it’s a sensitive and powerful novel.”
Lady Elinor of Hardford has fallen in love for the first time with Dan, her cousin and knight-in-training. But her father has other plans.
She must marry his friend, Sir William of Courtney – and he’s nearly fifty! Elinor must draw on all her skills to work out a solution to her dilemma. Can she change her father’s mind? And will she ever get to marry Dan?
“…the problem is resolved, and in a surprising way that is both realistic and satisfying, even though happiness for everyone concerned is never going to be possible.”
Catastrophic disasters don’t always mean the end of the world…. When Isabel’s village in the Yorkshire countryside is devastated by the Black Death, it seems that the world is ending in horror and fear.
But for those who survive the apocalyptic plague, a freer society will emerge from the destruction of the feudal system that enslaved Isabel’s family. Sometimes hope rises out of the ashes. This is one of those times…
“The reader is given the full range of emotion and thought… This book is by no means a dismal account. There is great joy, humour and hope with the adversity… An incredible story of survival and courage.”
Things are difficult enough for Molly, with her mother gone and her father distant.
But one day she sees a man running for his life and everything changes. Who is the stranger? Is he connected to the old god of her teacher’s stories? And who is attacking him – and why?
“A dollop of magical realism blends with some real kitchen sink drama in a story where myth blends with a little girl very much of today. Beautifully told, with a clear authorial voice – a voice to look out for.”
Sam loves facts. He wants to know about UFOs and horror movies and airships and ghosts and scientists, and how it feels to kiss a girl.
And because he has leukaemia he wants to know the facts about dying. Sam needs answers to the questions nobody will answer.
This is an elegant, intelligent, moving and sometimes even funny book. Young readers (and brave parents, and teachers) will love it.