Archives for posts with tag: Holly Webb

Published by Scholastic / Not yet published: October 2015

I wasn’t sure about this. I am used to selling a ‘sub genre ‘ of  titles written by Holly Webb to young 5 – 8-year-old girls. Still, it is the new sequel to The Secret Garden, and for that reason alone, let alone Holly Webb’s prodigious list of published books it deserved to be read with due respect. I finished my last book last night and started this. Emmie is evacuated from her orphanage in London at the start of the Second World War and has to leave the stray cat she has befriended behind. Confused, frightened and very lonely she really isn’t happy even though she seems to have gained considerable freedom in Yorkshire. Initially it felt like a Holly Webb book, which isn’t a bad thing, but not necessarily right for this, however I strongly believe that a book that incites an emotional response is a good one, and I found my self extraordinarily moved by this tale as I came home this evening. I shall take to Yorkshire and give my proof to my sister to read – she always loved The Secret Garden and I’m sure she will love this too!

The language may not be as detailed and descriptive as Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic, however, the story is none the less a solid, well-rounded story and is certainly one I can recommend. A note – you don’t have to have read The Secret Garden to enjoy this – it can easily stand alone. Further there is a listing on the Internet for another book under the same title by a Susan Moody. This is not the same. Once again, the cover may change before publication.

Water Horse / Holly Webb

Not yet Published (07 May 2015)

Orchard Books  / ISBN 9781408327623 / 8 +

Fantasy / Magic

This was a lovely read. The book is set in my favourite city (Venice) and does have the lovely atmosphere that the city exudes. Olivia is the princess of Venice, the daughter of the duke (not Doge/King) and this tells the tale of her learning how her position is supported by the people of the city and about how that city is under threat. Historical ceremonies have been taken a little out of context too, but the story line is a good one and it is a lovely (if slightly ‘squiffed’), introduction  to Venice. Magic, Sea-Horses (actual horses that live in the sea, a brilliant touch), and good against evil along with a wedding to come… As with The Undrowned Child (Lovric), Venice lends itself superbly to this type of mystery and fantasy, though in this case I would have preferred for her to have been the daughter of  a Doge.