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In Darkling Wood

Written by Emma Carroll

Key Stage 2 Fantasy / Magical

LoveReading View on In Darkling Wood

Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month, July 2015 There’s magic afoot in this cleverly constructed story which interweaves two stories of girls growing up a century apart and yet becoming friends as they each come to terms with hopes and fears. Present-day Alice is sent to live with Nell, her previously unknown grandmother on November 11 when her brother is rushed into hospital to undergo life-saving heart surgery. Nell’s house is surrounded by dark woods which she is determined to cut down much to the dislike of her neighbours. Exploring the woods Alice meets Flo, a strangely dressed girl in a red coat. On 11 November one hundred years earlier, Flo is also waiting for the safe return of her brother. Armistice has been declared. Surely now he will come home from the war? Flo introduces Alice to the magic of the woodlands and to fairies who she believes live in it. Can Alice believe in the magic too and will it help her brother survive?  Emma Carroll uses the idea of fairies and the magical opportunities they can bring creatively. ~ Julia Eccleshare


In Darkling Wood Synopsis

'You're telling me there are fairies in this wood?'

When Alice's brother gets a longed-for chance for a heart transplant, Alice is suddenly bundled off to her estranged grandmother's house. There's nothing good about staying with Nell, except for the beautiful Darkling Wood at the end of her garden - but Nell wants to have it cut down. Alice feels at home there, at peace, and even finds a friend, Flo. But Flo doesn't seem to go to the local school and no one in town has heard of a girl with that name. When Flo shows Alice the surprising secrets of Darkling Wood, Alice starts to wonder, what is real? And can she find out in time to save the wood from destruction?

In Darkling Wood Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Maya Watson, age 9 - 'I really, really enjoyed this book...I wanted to read onto the next chapter every time I finished one! My dad even read it too and he’s 45!'
  • Hannah Minton, age 9 - 'In Darkling Wood is a great book that I thoroughly enjoyed.'
  • Isaac Phelan, age 11 - 'This thrilling novel is certain to excite many children who believe in magic. Packed with adventure, it will be a brilliant boredom buster.'
  • Judith Smith, age 9 3/4 - 'This is honestly one of the best books I have ever read. My friend Amy asked if she could borrow the book after I had finished it. She said it looked creepy.'
  • Lucy Keaveny, age 9 - 'Not a typical book about fairies.  A great read that was hard to put down.'
  • Mairi Bauer, age 11 - 'The saddest start to a book's not about fairies.'
  • Sam Harper, age 11 - 'The unravelling of this mystery was thrilling and well worth reading. This is Emma Carroll’s best book yet.'
  • Year 5 Book Group - Baring Primary School - 'This is the best book we have read in a long time.  We’ll definitely be exploring the other books this author has written.'
  • Erica - 'The book is a very good book. I couldn’t take my eyes of it. When I was reading the book, I just knew   it would be good since the day I saw the front cover.'
  • Isabel, age 8 - 'I really enjoyed reading this book it was brilliant!'

In Darkling Wood Press Reviews

‘A moving story of families, friendship and fairies but most of all of hope’  The Bookbag

‘This book confirms [Carroll’s] position as a leading children's author.’  Bookseller

Book Information

ISBN: 9780571317578
Publication date: 2nd July 2015
Author: Emma Carroll
Publisher: Faber Children's Books an imprint of Faber & Faber
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 320 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 2
Topics: Fantasy / Magical

About Emma Carroll

Emma Carroll is a secondary school English teacher. She has also worked as a news reporter, an avocado picker and the person who punches holes into filofax paper. She recently graduated with distinction from Bath Spa University's MA in Writing For Young People. Emma lives in the Somerset hills with her husband and two terriers.

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