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Tanya Landman has written numerous books for children and young people, including Buffalo Soldier, winner of the Carnegie Medal, Apache, shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the Booktrust Teenage Prize, The Goldsmith's Daughter and Hell and High Water, shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Sam Swann and Poppy Fields mystery series and the beautiful picture book Mary's Penny. Tanya lives in Bideford, Devon, with her husband and their two sons. Read more about the author here.
Interest Age Teen Reading Age 9 | Tanya Landman’s storytelling skills shine bright in this potent re-telling of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. Specially written to engage reluctant and dyslexic readers, this soars with passion, pinches with the pain of tragic love and brings Brontë’s commentary on social class to the fore. “It just wasn't in me to be the obedient, devoted daughter my father craved,” Cathy states near the start of her story, shortly before her father takes-in beggar boy Heathcliff, with whom she forms a soulful bond that will last a lifetime - and beyond. “The two of us together were bigger than the sky and freer than the wind”, she effuses. They’re wild, and united in their loathing of Cathy’s cruel brother who demotes Heathcliff from family member to servant (and later labourer) when their father dies. When Cathy agrees to marry a well-off suitor, hoping to use his wealth to free Heathcliff from the hellhole Wuthering Heights has become, misfortune after misfortune strikes. But theirs is a love that endures everything, and Landman’s re-telling does a remarkable job of conveying the conflicts and tragedy of the original.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month January 2020 | January 2020 Book of the Month | Interest Age Teen Reading Age 9 | Award-winning author Tanya Landman captures the high drama and deep romance of Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel Jane Eyre is this fresh retelling. While in the setting of the story and the overarching plot and twists that propel it she is faithful to the time and place of the original and to the feel of both, she has given Jane a boldness and independence that is both entirely in keeping with the original and refreshingly modern.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2020 | Interest Age Teen Reading Age 8+ | Maggie’s story is charged with emotional energy from the opening lines, when her involving narration reveals a deep, deep bond with her Pa, whom she lost at the tender age of eight. He was a man of few words whose “every last syllable was worth hearing”. “Their souls were cut from the same cloth”, whereas her city-born Ma and her siblings are truly out of place living in the wilderness. Pa’s death leaves Maggie “in a place of bewildering horror”, and the family in a desperate struggle for survival, and so Maggie does what Pa would have done. She takes his gun to hunt for food to keep her family alive. But in place of praising and thanking her super-shot daughter, Maggie’s cold-hearted, convention-heeding Ma sends her to the County Infirmary for displaying “unnatural”, “unladylike” behaviour. While the rest of her childhood is marred by terrible abuse, Pa’s pervasive presence and Maggie’s indomitable inner strength see her stick to her guns, a tenacity that brings unimaginably spectacular change. Propelled by heart-pounding, high-stakes action, this is a richly rewarding, sparky story for young adults with a reading age of 9+.
Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award | Interest Age Teen Reading Age 8 | A story of a daring escape made by two slaves, a young woman and her husband, provides the inspiration for Tanya Landman’s story. Rosa and Benjamin meet, fall in love and marry but because they are slaves, their lives are not their own. When Rosa discovers she is pregnant – and confesses to her husband that the child might be her master’s – they decide to run. Rosa is so fair skinned that even Benjamin mistook her for a white at first, so they decide to disguise themselves as a white master and his ‘boy’. Their escape is full of drama and tension, but what will shock young readers is the casual brutality and hateful self-justification of the white slave owners Rosa encounters. It’s a story that makes you doubt humanity, while also celebrating individual courage and resilience. For more books on this theme head over to our sister site, LoveReading4Schools topic list - The Slave Trade
A sumptuous feast of historical fiction fuelled by drama, deception, and a young woman’s determination to find freedom. To be born a slave in Roman Britain is to lead a life of subjugation, and female infants are often killed at birth. But while Cassia is born into this brutal system, she’s also supremely strong, so her master deems her worth keeping, and marks her as a “concubine. A mistress. A whore.” When brought to his villa to fulfill this role, she’s filled with disgust; first at the opulence, which represents the suffering and violence done to her fellow slaves, and then by his touch. And so she attacks and maims him, and must go on the run. Alone and vulnerable in unfamiliar Londinium, Cassie is aided by Marcus. He finds her work with a renowned pharmacist but she still feels trapped, and so resolves to find a way to the haven that lies beyond Hadrian’s Wall. But she’s not sure whether she can really trust Marcus, her master is hot on her heels, and her reputation as a “witch” and “creature of legend” is mounting… The writing is crisply vivid, and packs a powerful visual punch, and I loved how Boudica’s spirit of resistance and rebellion permeated the book through Cassia’s indomitable strength. She’s an extraordinarily memorable heroine, and this is an extraordinary novel - historical YA at its best, no less.
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | Shortlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award | Longlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2016 | The astonishing story of a young man's quest to find justice for his father, from the Carnegie Medal-winning author of Buffalo Soldier. Holding the reader in suspense throughout it charts the growth of a frightened boy into a brave young man with the inspiration drawn from the shocking true story of Thomas Benson, an eighteenth-century Devonshire smuggler.
The astonishing story of a young man's quest to find justice for his father, from the Carnegie Medal-winning author of Buffalo Soldier. Holding the reader in suspense throughout it charts the growth of a frightened boy into a brave young man with the inspiration drawn from the shocking true story of Thomas Benson, an eighteenth-century Devonshire smuggler.
Winner of the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal | What does freedom really mean? Tanya Landman pushes back against all kinds of prejudice in this action-packed, emotionally rich and vividly told story about one girl’s struggle to find out. When Charley is freed from slavery at the end of the Civil War between the Yankees and the Confederates she imagines a new world of unlimited opportunities. Instead, she finds a life that is more dangerous than ever before. Her only way to survive is to disguise herself as a boy and join the army. But the army, like everywhere else, is riddled with prejudice and danger. It is only when Charley is sent to fight against the Apache Indians, another much discriminated against group, that she begins to learn what is could mean to be free. For more books on this theme head over to our sister site, LoveReading4Schools topic list - The Slave Trade
Reading age 7, interest age 12+. Reluctant or struggling readers with a reading age of around 7 but an interest age of 12+ will thoroughly enjoy this novel. A tense story of how life can change from one moment to the next. Best friends Matt and Jake are near the end of their hike; their sore feet are desperate for a rest. But, in one split second, Matt finds himself dealing with the catastrophe that has happened to Jake. A striking adventure with a dramatic twist in the tail. A Note from the author Tanya Landman: A friend of my mum’s was talking about what the two saddest words were. The idea two words summing up some life-shattering event stuck in my head. For a long-time the idea did nothing but sit at the back of my mind. But at last it shape itself into a story. Two Words is the result. Be sure to also check out Tanya Landman's debut novel Apache. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here. A Dyslexia Friendly title.
Interest Age 11+ Reading Age 8+. This is a fascinating short book detailing an important aspect of American History - that of the native American people, the Apaches. Geromino was a famous Apache who went on fighting the US government and the new settlers even when everything was taken away from him and his people. Some called him a killer whilst others called him brave and a hero. In reality he was only trying to save what was rightfully his and that of his people. How far would you, the reader, go to gain your freedom? To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here. A Dyslexia Friendly title.
A gripping murder mystery with a fast moving plot that twists and turns as one gruesome event follows another. Poppy is off to a remote Scottish island to take part in a free action-packed adventure holiday. But right from the first there are some odd and scary things going on. Can Poppy keep her nerve and can she uncover the mysteries that are going on behind the scenes? Tanya is the author of a number of novels for slightly older readers and this title is the first in a proposed mystery series. It’s spot on.
Selected by a distinguished independent panel of experts including our editorial expert, Julia Eccleshare, for Diverse Voices - 50 of the best Children's Books celebrating cultural diversity in the UK. Shortlisted for the prestigious 2008 Carnegie. An inspiring story of survival against a background of bloodshed. The fourteen year old Apache girl who narrates the story tells of her fight for her land, her tribe - and her life! The ways of the Apache are vividly brought to life. Shortlisted for two prestigious awards, the Carnegie Medal and the Booktrust Teenage Prize 2008. The winner of the latter will be announced on 18th November. Be sure to check out Tanya Landman's second novel Two Words.