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Lucy Christopher was just 25 years old when she came to prominence with her debut novel Stolen, which garnered international critical acclaim. It won the Branford Boase Award 2010 and was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in the UK. Overseas, it was awarded a Gold Inky and was shortlisted for the prestigious Prime Minister’s Literary Award in Australia, and received a Printz Honor in the USA. It has now sold a quarter of a million copies worldwide and has been translated into 16 languages. Her second novel, Flyaway, was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award. Inspired by her fascination with wild places and the teen psyche, The Killing Woods is Christopher’s third novel.
Born in Wales but having grown up in Australia, Christopher later returned to the UK and currently lives on the edge of the woods in Monmouthshire. She has a PhD in Creative Writing and lectures in writing for children and young adults at Bath Spa University.
Beautiful and inclusive illustrations by debut artist Nia Tudor are as warm in tone as this gentle but thought-provoking story of child agency. Only our young narrator pays any attention to the old lady and her dog, who live on a deserted plot at the corner of her street. Adults hurry by trying not to see this social nuisance, but this little girl stops to talk and imagines all the adventures this ‘Queen’ must have had to lose some teeth ‘in battle’. She persuades her Mum that it is very easy to lose your ‘palace’ and young readers will want to talk about how people fall into poverty and homelessness. So, this Queen needs some care and attention and they start to bring her tea and toast. Our narrator tells herself that the Queen is protecting their street as she looks out on her at bedtime and indeed that is exactly what the Queen does when she sees a fire start and then wakes up the whole street just in time. (Another highly topical note with fires all around the world an increasing problem and very vividly captured by stunning images) Our young heroine makes sure that everyone knows the Queen saved the day and at long last the community rallies round to provide her a home. If only in real life we could listen to empathetic young people speaking up for social justice. This lovely story will encourage young readers to believe that they can make a difference and will reinforce the belief that we all have a duty of care for ‘others’ .
Shortlisted for the Leeds Book Awards 2014, 14-16 age category - October 2013 Book of the Month | Suitable for older teenagers as contains some explicit content - we recommend 16+ The stakes are very high in this tragically dark teen novel by award-winning Lucy Christopher. When a young girl is found dead in the woods it is easy to blame the local war veteran who is still suffering from mind-changing flashbacks. But his daughter Emily is sure of his innocence. Determined to prove it Emily probes behind the scenes. Talking with the dead girl’s boyfriend Emily discovers the terrible game that she and her friends played. It’s a game so dangerous that can end in death. Lucy Christopher pulls no punches in this chilling story about teenagers and the risks they take.
Winner of the Branford Boase Award 2010 Julia Eccleshare, our editorial expert and chairman of the Branford Boase Award judges says: ‘Stolen is a wonderfully accomplished first novel. Sure-footed and without a word wasted Lucy has created a fantastic sense of place. Intense, vivid and very cleverly told Stolen is a worthy winner.' Lovereading comment: The lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, can blur until they don’t exist – almost. Stolen is a love story like no other you will read. Every dark manifestation of infatuation, madness, obsession, dependency, desire and need is explored here. But in this sensitive and intelligent debut we find also kindness, altruism, self sacrifice, true friendship, forgiveness, understanding - and a surprising ending that feels just right.
A World Book Day 'Recommended Read' for 2011. Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book of the Year Award 2010 and Shortlisted for the Waterstone's Book Award 2010. Tender and touching, this is a delicate story about facing up to difficulties and finding a way through. When Isla’s father develops a serious heart condition he can no longer take her to see the swans on the lake. Instead Isla follows the swans and finds one whose behaviour is different from all of the others; different, strange and magical. Can she and the swan make the difference that is needed not only for her father but also for Harry, the boy with cancer whom she befriends in the hospital. This is Lucy’s second novel, her first was Stolen, a superb novel for teens. Flyaway is aimed at a younger audience of 9+. The Costa Children's Book of the Year Award 2010 Shortlist: Annexed - Sharon Dogar Out of Shadows - Jason Wallace Bartimaeus: The Ring of Solomon - Jonathan Stroud Flyaway - Lucy Christopher