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Published: 6 Jul 2017
A beautiful story for older readers written almost twenty years ago in which bestselling author Dick King-Smith creates a fascinating picture of rural life at the time of the Second World War.
Discovered as a foundling in a lambing pen, Spider Sparrow grows up surrounded by animals. From sheep and horses to wild otters and foxes, Spider loves them all, even the crows he must scare away from the newly sown wheat. Crowstarving was the idea job for Spider - he was on his own, yet never alone for all around him were animals of one sort or another. Amazingly, every animal who meets Spider implicitly trusts the young boy. This magical rapport is Spider's unique gift, but nothing else in his tough life is so easy.
Henry Treece (Author)
Into this breathtaking trilogy is woven the true spirit of the Vikings, who great thirst for travelling the seas took them on incredible voyages in defiance of icy waters, terrible hardships and bloodthirsty resistance.
It is AD 780. Viking's Dawn sees a young Norse boy, Harald Sigurdson, set sail for the Hebrides in the longship 'Nameless'. The goal: to plunder the helpless coastal villages of Britain.
Just five years later, undeterred by his first desperate journey, the dauntless warrior puts to sea once again, in The Road to Miklagard - this time lured by the news of a fabulous hoard of treasure.
After a lifetime struggling with the bitter waves, Harald embarks on his last voyage in Viking's Sunset, this time not for gain but to seek vengeance on a blood enemy.
Little Bunchy lives all alone with her grandmother in a cottage in the country. It's quite a long walk to the village and Bunchy is too young for school yet so she has no one to play with. But Bunchy is never lonely because she has her own very special friends - the pastry girl, the Scribbles family, the naughty clothes-peg people and the little wooden sailor-doll.
Set in a by-gone era, here are ten stories written with warmth and affection, by the author of Milly-Molly-Mandy.
No.40 Norham Gardens, Oxford, is the home of Clare Mayfield, her two aged aunts and two lodgers. The house is a huge Victorian monstrosity, with rooms all full of old furniture, old papers, old clothes, memorabilia - it is like a living museum.
Clare discovers in a junk room the vividly painted shield which her great-grandfather, an eminent anthropologist, had brought back from New Guinea. She becomes obsessed with its past and determined to find out more about its strange tribal origins.
Dreams begin to haunt her - dreams of another country, another culture, another time, and of shadowy people whom she feels are watching her. Who are they, and what do they want?
When Andrew's family moves house, he strikes up an unexpected friendship with his neighbour Victor. There isn't a thing Victor doesn't know about the RAF planes flying overhead and the two boys are soon busy tracking their movements.
Then Andrew discovers that Victor's beloved Lightnings are due to be scrapped...
Thunder and Lightnings won the Carnegie Medal in 1976.
Prize winning WOLVES CHRONICLES PREQUEL reissued in A Puffin Book - All 12 Wolves books now in print for the first time ever.
In THE WHISPERING MOUNTAIN by Joan Aiken, the small town of Pennygaff, the legendary Harp of Teirtu is found - and lost again. For young Owen Hughes and his friend Arabis, it is the start of a hair-raising race to save the harp from sinister Lord Malyn. As they struggle to keep it out of his hands, they are plunged into a wild adventure involving murder, kidnapping, underground worlds, savage beasts, floods, avalanche, the mysterious children of the Pit - and above all, a man who will stop at nothing to get the harp back again.
Winner of the 1969 Guardian Fiction Award.
Three brothers run away from home to live like Robin Hood and his merry men, deep in the forest of Brendon Chase. They make their camp in an ancient oak tree and live like outlaws, loving the dangers and excitements of their wild surroundings.
Their aim is never to be caught - but how can they avoid all the people who are searching for them, including the police?
A bunch of scruffy urchin kids in the backstreets of Paris outwit thieves to uncover the whereabouts of millions of francs stolen from the Paris-Ventimiglia express. Gaby is the leader, but it is super-cool Marion with her collection of stray dogs who is the heart of the gang.
It all begins when a local villain offers the children a fortune for their 'horse' - a headless rocking horse, given old tricycle wheels that they 'ride' down the steep cobbled street, but they don't want to part with it. Then, a few days later, the horse is stolen, and so begins an adventure that is full of twists and turns, leading to a satisfying conclusion when the villains receive their comeuppance.
Twelve-year-old Karana escapes death at the hands of treacherous hunters, only to find herself totally alone on a harsh desolate island. How she survives in the face of all sorts of dangers makes gripping and inspiring reading.
Based on a true story.
Gustas is nearly killed in the hurricane, trying to save his banana tree; Nenna and her brother Man-Man patrol the cocnut plantation in the dead of night, ready to catch interlopers; Becky longs for a bicycle and Fanso longs to find his father who walked out thirteen years ago.
This is a wonderfully atmospheric collection of contemporary short stories that bring James Berry's Caribbean childhood vividly to life.
A Vicarage Family is the first part in a fictionalized autobiography in which Noel Streatfeild tells the story of her own childhood, painting a poignant and vivid picture of daily life in an impoverished, genteel family in the years leading up to the First World War.
In the story there are three little girls - Isobel, the eldest, is pretty, gentle and artistic; Louise the youngest, is sweet and talented - and then there is Vicky, 'the plain one', the awkward and rebellious child who doesn't fit in at school or at home. Growing up in a big family Vicky feels overlooked but gradually begins to realize that she might not be quite as untalented as she feels.
The Vicky of this story is, of course, the much-loved Noel Streatfeild who went on to write so many wonderful family stories, the most famous being Ballet Shoes.
ANIMALS OF FARTHING WOOD: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS by Colin Dann is the prequel to The Animals of Farthing Wood which takes the reader right back to the very beginning.
There had always been otters in the stream running through Farthing Wood - and that had never been a problem for the other animals before but when there is a shortage of fish in the stream, the otters are forced to hunt on land.The otters are taking valuable prey and the foxes and other Farthing Wood animals have to compete for food. Lean Vixen is determined to protect her family from starvation, and that means deciding on a plan to drive the otters out once and for all.