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The Girl in Between

Written by Sarah Carroll

Key Stage 3 Family / Home Stories General Fiction

LoveReading View on The Girl in Between

Powerful and moving story of love, loss and redemption

May 2017 MEGA Debut of the Month |

 |   ‘I’m invisible’ says our narrator; and certainly no-one sees her hiding out in the old abandoned mill she calls a Castle, or in the shadows behind her mother as they go out begging. Is it that they don’t want to, or that they can’t? We hear her voice clearly enough, describing in simple, vivid prose the stages of her life, from memories of early days with her grandma, to more frightening times on the streets. There are moments of joy and hope, but they get further in between as we gradually come to understand the depth of the grief and loss in her mother’s eyes. Dark, sometimes profound, this is the kind of book that envelops readers in its world, sending them blinking into the light with the voice and images still ringing in their heads.   Recommended for fans of David Almond. 

Andrea Reece

More About This Book

A Message from the Author:  I live on a houseboat in Ireland. Across the water from my home was an old mill surrounded by modern buildings that house Google, Facebook and Airbnb. It has since been torn down and only the façade remains. The mill was abandoned and a homeless man was sleeping in its shadow. Every morning, people hurried past on their way to work, and those who looked at the bundle asleep beneath the blankets, did so surreptitiously. To me, the mill was a symbol of a crumbling past forgotten by an uncaring digital future.

One day, I looked at the mill and I thought to myself, there’s a young girl trapped in there. Why? Because it is her refuge from life on the streets. The mill is her home and she shares it not only with her mother, but with the ghosts of the past. That evening, I sat down and wrote the words, I’m invisible. I decided that would be my opening line. Because to the outside world, the girl does not exist. But she is also trapped in the mill, a symbol of the past. And so, until she can understand her own past, she cannot leave, she cannot move on.

That was the inspiration for this novel, and it allowed me to examine the meaning of family, and of home, and to explore what we must give up in order to move on. I loved writing this book, getting lost in the girl’s voice and absorbed into her world. I was sad to leave her behind and I hope when you finish this story, you will be too.

Sarah Carroll

The Girl in Between Synopsis

I know the mill has a story cos there's something strange going on. I heard something. I've decided that I'm going to find out what it is later today when Ma leaves. Cos even if it is scary, we live here and we're never leaving. So if there's something going on, I need to know. In an old, abandoned mill in the heart of Dublin, Sam and her ma take shelter from their memories of life on the streets, and watch the busy world go by. The windows are boarded up and the floorboards falling in, but for Sam neither of those things matter. It's The Castle - a home of her own like no other, and a place of safety. But hard as she tries to hold on to her world, things are starting to change. As the men in yellow coats close in on their refuge, and her ma spins further out of control, Sam finds herself seeking friendship in the ghosts of the mill - and questioning who is really there.

The Girl in Between Reader Reviews

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.

  • Francesca Hopkins, age 12 - 'This is such a brilliant book! I loved reading it. It moves you deeply. You feel like you know every character personally and can vividly imagine every scene Carroll describes.'
  • Llew Harrison, age 10 - 'Wow! What a book, I absolutely love it!'
  • James Boran, age 11 - 'Great atmospheric book. Quite haunting with some great characters.'
  • Jenna Welch, age 12 - 'an excellent story filled with lots of twists and turns and unexpected happenings...Carroll is a very gifted writer with a very good imagination.'
  • Daisy Pritchard-Williams, age 12 - 'Some parts are very gripping and a little bit scary, but I really liked it. I also liked the idea of the other little storys in the book...'
  • Lynsey Brennan - 'The Girl In Between is a poignant read that explores the themes of loneliness and grief... This is a short read which is beautifully written.'
  • Heather Greenan, age 13 - 'I really enjoyed this book and thought it had a great story line that grabbed my attention and made me want to find out what happens next.'
  • James Forde - 'The characters are brilliant. Totally believable. But the best thing about the book is the twist at the end - which we cannot talk about!  This book gets a ten out of ten for me.'

The Girl in Between Press Reviews

‘The Girl In Between grabbed me from the start and held on so tight it left bruises’  --Geraldine McCaughrean

“A deeply moving story of family, homelessness, and the ghosts that won’t let us go. Haunting and unforgettable.” --Megan Shepherd, NYT bestselling author of The Secret Horses of Briar Hill

Book Information

ISBN: 9781471160622
Publication date: 4th May 2017
Author: Sarah Carroll
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 256 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 3
Topics: Family / Home Stories, General Fiction

About Sarah Carroll

Sarah Carroll currently splits her time between a houseboat in Dublin and travel abroad. She recently returned from five years in Tanzania where she founded and ran a hostel while working to support local community projects. She continues to promote ethical overseas volunteering through her blogs and films on, while planning her next book.

More About Sarah Carroll

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