Books

The Brockenspectre

Linda Newbery (and others)

Tomas wants to be like his father – strong, brave and fearless. Pappi is a mountain guide, often away from home. He has taught Tomas to love the mountains, but also to fear their dangers – the winds and blizzards, the treacherous paths, the giddying slopes.

Above all, Tomas fears the Brockenspectre – a huge, shadowy creature that lives alone in the heights, waiting for unwary climbers. Its looming figure haunts his thoughts and his dreams.

When Pappi goes out one day and fails to return, Tomas knows it’s up to him to search – up on the high mountain passes, where dangers await.

Will Tomas find his father . . . or will the Brockenspectre find him?

Missing Rose

Linda Newbery

It was the day when everything stopped…

At quarter past two on a hot summer afternoon, Anna’s beautiful, headstrong older sister Rose disappears. And Anna was the last person to see her.

Their parents, Rose’s friends, the police – no-one can find where Rose has gone or who might have taken her.
Twenty years later, Rose is still missing. Anna is the only one who still believes she might be alive, and unable to take control of her own life while her sister’s disappearance remains unsolved, she begins to hunt for the truth herself. But the search for Rose will uncover secrets she is not prepared for…

The compelling novel from the Costa Award-winning author.

Originally published in hardback as Quarter Past Two on a Wednesday Afternoon

Lob

Linda Newbery

He's older than anyone can tell. Older than the trees. Older than anybody.

For as long as she can remember, Lucy has wanted to catch a glimpse of the mysterious green man who lives in Grandpa Will's garden: Lob.

You have to be very special to see him; that's what Grandpa says. Lucy's parents think Lob's just imaginary, but Lucy knows he exists. And she can't believe it when she finally spots Lob in the gooseberry bushes.

But Lucy's world is about to be shattered by a terrible event. What will happen to Lob now - and will she ever see him again?

Linda Newbery, with the vivid embroidery of Pam Smy's illustrations, has conjured a real green man right out of the woods and stories of legend.

Quarter Past Two On A Wednesday Afternoon

Linda Newbery

It was the day when everything stopped…

At quarter past two on a hot afternoon in August, Anna’s beautiful, headstrong elder sister Rose disappears.

Twenty years later, Anna still doesn’t know whether Rose is alive or dead. In her early thirties now, she sees her future unfolding – with sensible, serious Martin and a grown-up, steady job – and finds herself wondering if this is what she really wants.

Unable to take control of her life while the mystery of her sister’s disappearance remains unsolved, Anna begins to search for the truth: what did happen to Rose that summer’s day?

The stunning first adult novel from the distinguished Costa Award winner.

The Little Mermaid: A Magic Beans Story

Linda Newbery

The moving tale of a little mermaid, who was prepared to sacrifice everything for the love of a prince. This mesmerizing classic is one of the greatest love stories of all time.

This story is a magic bean. It may not look much like a bean, but I can promise you that it is. For if you plant it in a young mind, it will grow into a love of story and reading. These beans are favourite fairytales and legends that will delight, thrill and thoroughly entertain. Each story has been brilliantly crafted by one of the best-loved writers for children.

This story was published by David Fickling Books as part of the Magic Beans anthology. The complete anthology is available in hardback and in ebook format.

Magic Beans: A Handful of Fairytales from the Storybag

Adèle Geras (and others)

Magic beans. Sow them. Plant them. Watch children grow.

'If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!' - Shel Silverstein, Poet

Each and every one of the stories in this anthology is a magic bean: a wondrous tale that will capture your imagination. Prepare to be dazzled by Rapunzel's golden tresses. Prepare to be moved by the suffering of the Little Mermaid. Prepare to laugh yourself silly as 'Mr Sultana' struggles to get the better of a little red rooster!

Lovingly crafted by the finest authors and illustrators, these 'magic beans' will delight, thrill and thoroughly entertain.

Set in Stone

Linda Newbery

When Samuel Godwin, a young and naive art tutor, accepts a job with the Farrow family at Fourwinds, their majestic home, little does he expect to come across such a web of secrets and lies. His two tutees are as different as chalk and cheese - the beautiful younger sister Marianne, full of flightiness and nervous imagination, and Juliana, controlled and sad. With their governess, Charlotte Agnew, Samuel begins to uncover slowly the horrifying truth behind Juliana's sadness and Marianne's emotional fragility. Their discoveries change their perception of life at Fourwinds for ever and none of their lives will ever be the same again.

With her usual brilliance and ease, Linda Newbery has written a haunting and faultlessly plotted novel with characters that leap of the page and stay with the reader long after the last page is turned.

Flightsend

Linda Newbery

Flightsend is Charlie's new home, whether she likes it or not. Her mother sees it as an end to all that's gone so tragically wrong, but for Charlie it's the end of her family, not to mention her social life.

They had been a proper family. Mum, Sean and Charlie, with a new baby sister on the way. But the baby died before she was born and everything changed. Gradually, her mother pushed Sean away, before resigning from her job and selling the house, forcing Sean to find somewhere else to live.

Although Charlie believes her mother is making a terrible mistake, she can only offer support - but who will support Charlie, with Sean cut out of their lives? She's certain that the move to a ramshackle cottage, miles from anywhere, can only make things worse.

She couldn't be more wrong. This first summer at Flightsend proves to be a turning point for them both. For Charlie's mum there's a new business and the fresh start that she knew she needed. And for Charlie there's a new job, new friends, a newly discovered talent for art and new feelings for two very different men. It's a summer of beginnings, not ends; a summer that Charlie will never forget.

Sisterland

Linda Newbery

Following the success of The Shell House, Linda Newbery again demonstrates her brilliance at weaving thought-provoking subjects into a wholly satisfying and sensitively drawn novel.

Hilly's German grandmother, HeidiGran, comes to live with her family after she gets Alzheimer's disease; but as her mind becomes more muddled, secrets from her memories of life during the Second World War start to emerge.

Why does HeidiGran keep talking about a girl called Rachel? And why does she make racist remarks about Hilly's friend, Reuben? As Hilly struggles to cope with revelations about her family's past, she encounters racism and prejudice for herself when a friend becomes the victim of a mindless attack. She also falls in love for the first time.

This is a wonderfully evocative novel exploring the recurring prejudices that affect every generation.

The Shell House

Linda Newbery

The Shell House is a beautifully written and sensitive portrayal of love, sexuality and spirituality over two generations. Greg's casual interest in the history of a ruined mansion becomes more personal as he slowly discovers the tragic events that overwhelmed its last inhabitants. Set against a background of the modern day and the First World War, Greg's contemporary beliefs become intertwined with those of Edmund, a foot soldier whose confusion about his sexuality and identity mirrors Greg's own feelings of insecurity. This is a complex and thought-provoking book, written with elegance and subtlety. It will change the way you think.

Biography

As a child Linda Newbery was a secret writer, filling exercise books with stories which she hid in her wardrobe. Now she is a published author of over forty books, mainly children's and teenage fiction. She has been shortlisted for many prestigious literary prizes and has won the Costa children's book award.
Linda lives in an Oxfordshire village and enjoys yoga, gardening, walking and the cinema.