Illustrated by Keith Robinson
For ages 9+ (dyslexia friendly format)
About the book
🌱With themes of poverty, fitting in, and the supernatural, this illustrated novella packs a punch. Suspenseful edge-of-the-seat eeriness is set on a salt marsh where Jodie goes on a school trip with her new classmates. It’s a new beginning for Jodie. Her brother has been sent to prison and her family have had to move across the country to be nearer to him.
🌱The reader inhales the murky sentiments of shame, resentment and hardship right off the pages. As a child who is struggling to cope, just surviving, and only feeling she can do what she has to do to keep herself sane, she ends up breaking a few rules whilst on the trip. However, if she hadn’t then she wouldn’t have ended up wandering alone on the marshland, she wouldn’t have heard the little dog barking in distress, met the old lady, or made friends with a bunch of school girls who, it turns out, are all as interesting and different in their own ways, just like Jodie (with, I believe, sub-context from the author of neurodiversity).
🌱A page-turner of a ghost story filled with drama and suspense!!
About the creators
Hilary McKay (author)
Hilary McKay was born in Boston, Lincolnshire, as the eldest of four daughters. After reading Botany and Zoology at university, a stint as a biochemist and the birth of her two children, Hilary left her job to devote her time to writing. For her first novel, The Exiles, she won the 1992 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. Hilary lives in a small village in Derbyshire with her family.
Keith Robinson (illustrator)
When Keith was small he was desperate to get to Narnia. He had a habit of walking into other people’s wardrobes, which must have been awkward for his parents. Eventually he discovered the next best way of travelling to other worlds was to lose himself in drawing them.
Keith loves illustrating children’s fiction. Getting lost in a good story and expressing the characters, setting and atmosphere through drawing is still the best kind of escapism he knows. It also means he no longer feels the need to walk into wardrobes. His work is informed by a love of nature, myth and history, all of which can be found in abundance where he lives, on the Devon-Dorset border. The beautiful landscape of the West Country, the stunning scenery of the Jurassic Coast and the wilds of nearby Dartmoor provide a constant source of inspiration. When Keith isn't working he enjoys hiking, camping, beach-combing, playing the guitar and rummaging through second-hand book shops.
Keith lives with his wife and two children in a woodland cottage near the seaside town of Lyme Regis. He works from his studio in the garden. Everyone else calls it a shed but he insists that it’s a ‘studio’.
Hanako studied for a degree in Psychology at Goldsmiths College, University of London, before her passion for art re-emerged and led her to pursue a life as an illustrator. She started off her career at several London markets selling her illustration prints, t-shirts and greeting cards before she signed with illustration agency Pickled ink.
After becoming a mother of two children in Japan, she and her family moved to New Zealand in 2014. She now works from home in Titirangi in Auckland. Her clients include Caterpillar Books, 360 Degrees, Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, Oxford University Press, Benesse Holdings and Ronshin.
Hanako enjoys drawing simple and bold character designs that appeal to children. Her projects have ranged from board books to illustrated non-fiction books and children’s clothing.
family member in prison
starting a new school
Buy the book
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Publication date: 18 May 2023
For fans of...
*reviewed from proof via advance reading copy provided by the publisher
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