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Fire, Bed and Bone

Written by Henrietta Branford

Key Stage 2

LoveReading View on Fire, Bed and Bone

A most welcome reissue of a superb piece of accessible historical writing told from a most unusual viewpoint. Ultimately uplifting, this is an unflinching look at issues of social justice at the time of the Peasants Revolt.

Marcus Sedgwick, who won the Branford Boase Award in 2001, says: “Fire, Bed and Bone is one of those very short books that is nevertheless powerful and moving; one of those books which oozes confidence from the first line to the last. With it, Henrietta won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, and twenty-two years later I think it would still win. It's far from being the first novel narrated by an animal, in this case a hunting hound witnessing the events of the Peasant's Revolt of 1381, but remains a masterclass in how to pull off that feat successfully. Its prose is robust and rhythmic; flawless in its execution, showing just what complex themes and stories one can address in a 'book for children’.”


Fire, Bed and Bone Synopsis

Powerful. Exciting. Original. Celia Rees This award-winning classic speaks back to the divisions of fourteenth century Britain from the perspective of a much-loved hunting dog. Branford's Guardian Children's Fiction Prize-winning novel is a moving narrative about injustice, upheaval and survival in fourteenth century Britain. From the point of view of a devoted and sought-after hunting dog, her story focuses on the societal tension and oppression that lead to her beloved masters Rufus and Comfort being arrested for heresy during the Peasants' Revolt, and how she must then struggle to raise her puppy Fleabane and forge a life away from the cruel landlord and violence happening all around her. Ultimately an uplifting story about loyalty and hope.

Fire, Bed and Bone Press Reviews

Branford's skilful handling results in a thoroughly convincing and totally engrossing novel. A strong and deserving contender for the Carnegie medal. - The Sunday Telegraph

Both I and a 13-year-old tester were lost in admiration for the brilliantly devised Fire, Bed and Bone. - The Times

This powerful tale with its unusual viewpoint is as fresh and exciting today as when first published... Cleverly original, the deceptive simplicity and economy of style makes it immediately accessible to any young reader. - Celia Rees

Book Information

ISBN: 9781406379990
Publication date: 6th September 2018
Author: Henrietta Branford
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 176 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 2

About Henrietta Branford

Henrietta Branford (1946-1999) was a celebrated and cherished author of over a dozen children's books including The Fated Sky and Dimanche Diller. In her lifetime, she was awarded the Guardian's Children's Fiction Prize, the Smarties Book Prize and was highly commended for the Carnegie Medal; known for her striking characters, unique perspectives and emotive characters, Branford's legacy lives on in her fiction.

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