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Eve Ainsworth is a public speaker, creative workshop coordinator and award-winning author who draws from her extensive work with teenagers managing emotional and behavioural issues to write authentic, honest and real novels for young people.
Eve lives in West Sussex with her husband and two children.
“It was October 1917 when my life truly changed.” So begins this heartfelt true story of unsung heroines and family life during WWI. Though the war was horrific and “the future…looked bleak for most of us” narrator Hettie notes that for girls and women, “in many ways, it was the making of us. For us, it was a new beginning.” Indeed, it kicked-off the ground-breaking events recounted in this top of the league tale, which itself kicks-off a series. Hettie is a self-professed “gangly fifteen-year-old with frizzy hair and barely a sensible thought in my head”. Her slightly older brother (“lovely, gentle Freddie”) has already gone to war, and now it’s her turn to do her bit working in the Dick, Kerr & Co munitions factory. Hettie’s apprehension as she starts work is palpable, as are the details of factory life - the roar and hiss of the machines, the dangers, the banter. In its presentation of social history Kicking Off is brilliantly evocative, and it packs hearty punch as a personal story too. After a tough start at work, Hettie perks up when her colleagues talk of forming a ladies’ football team, though her dad’s gruff warning rings loud in her ears (“Don’t you keep playing that game, Hettie. It’s unladylike. It’s unfitting”). But her new friend Grace is a determined, inspiring ally and, soon enough, “the start of something wonderful happens” when a match against the men’s team is arranged. The story’s a game of two halves, though, with plenty of twists, turns and metaphoric goalmouth scrambles as the pioneering young women persist in establishing their right to play. Female friendship and tenacity. Family love and conflict. Wartime realities that stir social revolutions - what a pitch-perfect story this, and told in a clear, readable style that could hook reluctant readers.
Interest Age Teen Reading Age 8 | From acclaimed author Eve Ainsworth comes this new novella that packs a powerful punch in its openhearted, honest account of a teen girl trying her hardest to cope with her mum’s alcoholism. Violet has always seen her mum as being “strong, funny and in control”, as a “pretty, glamorous and confident” person who firmly believes, “You have to give a good impression at all times.” In contrast, Violet is “the quiet one …I’m the worrier who can never be confident.” But since her mum’s boyfriend left, Mum’s “it’s just one glass” of wine is starting to have an affect on their family life, with Violet increasingly having to pick-up caring for her little brother when Mum’s too hung-over to get out of bed. As Violet finds more empty bottles around the house, and finds herself having to lie to cover her mum, matters come to a scary head and she knows she has to be brave and seek help. Truly brilliant at capturing Violet’s conflicted feelings – an excruciating pull between love and anger – this compelling, moving story will engross fans of true-to-life fiction, while casting sensitive light on a tough subject. And, since this is published by the ever-brilliant Barrington Stoke, this book is especially suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers, with its expert attention to vocabulary, layout, font and paper.
Inspired by footballer Rio Ferdinand’s documentary about coping with children after the death of his wife and by seeing the positive impact of football on her own son, this is a story that Eve Ainsworth was desperate to write. The difficulty that men and boys often have in expressing emotion and talking about their feelings is well documented and can be extremely harmful to mental health and well-being and she feels that it is vital that we do all we can to change this. The main character, Alfie, a talented young footballer on the brink of being signed, loses his mum to cancer. His father withdraws into his own grief and as Alfie’s world falls apart a strange girl, Alice, fierce, unpredictable and patently deeply troubled herself, helps him cope with his loss as she battles her own problems with poverty and domestic abuse. This author has written several novels which explore real life and contemporary issues that are deeply relevant to teens such as bullying, relationships and mental health concerns but this is her most moving, accessible and empathetic yet. The writing is subtle honest and has real emotional depth and insight that will hopefully help young people of both sexes think about and articulate their emotions. Highly recommended.
March 2018 Book of the Month | In a Nutshell: Young carers learn to live for today Tender in both name and tone, this involving debut tackles tough themes with heart-wrenching honesty. Marty’s mum struggles to get out of bed, while for Marty it’s the going to bed that’s the problem, “because that’s when the thinking starts… Give me the mornings anytime. Give me the light”. Marty’s life was on track until his dad died, but he’s now all but dropped out of school and is terrified of what might happen if the social workers knew how ill his mum has become. But it’s the social workers who give him a leaflet about a young carers group, which is where he meets Daisy… Daisy has problems of her own. Her beloved brother Harry has debilitating muscular dystrophy. During one young carers meeting, Daisy is passionate about wanting to see the world, which seems impossible to Marty. His world is poorer and smaller. It’s confined to his estate and revolves around his mum. But, while they come from different worlds, they’re united by that fact that they both feel powerless when it comes to what matters most. Daisy can’t make Harry well, and Marty can’t bring back his dad or fix his mum. Consequently, they find solace - and more - in each other. Honest on the realities of mental illness, grief and how it feels to be a teen carer, this truly touching read shines a bright light of love and hope through Daisy and Marty’s darkest days. ~ Joanne Owen
Love hurts ...but should it hurt this much? Reeling from her mum's sudden departure, Anna finds the comfort she needs in her blossoming relationship with Will. He's handsome and loving, everything Anna has always dreamt of. He's also moody and unpredictable, pushing her away from her friends and her music. He wants her to be his and his alone. He wants her to be perfect. Anna's world is closing in. But threatening everything is a dark secret that not even Will can control...
February 2015 Debut of the Month Life at home is horrible for Jess since her father left. There’s very little money and her mum struggles just to keep the family going. But she has even worse problems at school where she is bullied, especially by Kez, for being fat and scruffily dressed. But Kez has her problems too. Watching her violent father bullying her weak mother is torment and she feels powerless to intervene. Can the two girls break out of the cycle of behaviour that makes them both victims? Maybe becoming friends will be the answer? Eve Ainsworth says "I believe that Seven Days would be a very inspiring book for any reader that has experienced bullying, or indeed been a bully themselves. The book is not looking to judge, it is simply providing a message that there are often two sides to every story. I also hope it will help anyone who has experienced bullying to have something to identify with, but also to see that they are not weak, or pathetic just because they have been targeted. Perhaps someone else will read my book and recognise their own negative behaviours. Perhaps they can question why they are doing it and seek the help that they need.In Seven Days I wanted to keep the message alive. Bullying is a real, on-going issue. It takes many forms, and it’s life-changing.There can also be more than one victim". Click here to read more about why Eve wrote Seven Days.