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Description - At the Firefly Gate by Linda Newbery

Henry never quite fits in. He feels like an outsider - and about to become even more so when his family move to the country and the prospect of a new secondary school looms. He retreats more and more into his shell, until he meets Dottie a frail old lady, but one with tremendous spirit. He feels as though he knows her, as though they have been friends for many years. And as she tells him about her wartime romance with an RAF navigator also called Henry, so our Henry is drawn into that world. In a series of mysterious, sometimes frightening events he re-enacts Henry's life...and learns that despite being dreadfully afraid, Henry acted heroically at the cost of his own life. Only our Henry knows the true story and it shows him a way through his own self doubts and misgivings.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781842551950
ISBN-10: 1842551957
Format: Hardback
(198mm x 132mm x 21mm)
Pages: 176
Imprint: Orion Children's Books (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
Publisher: Hachette Children's Group
Publish Date: 30-Sep-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - At the Firefly Gate by Linda Newbery

US Kirkus Review » Carnegie-nominee Newbery successfully interjects a supernatural storyline into a well-crafted, contemporary narrative about a pre-teen boy's adjustment to a new household. After moving with his parents from London to a rural English village, small, 11-year-old Henry not only worries about making new friends, but he is concerned about the nocturnal appearances of a mysterious, cigarette-smoking man at his garden gate. In a consistently subtle manner, Newbery parses out clues about the identity of the spectral stranger - a WWII airman - and the man's relationship with Henry's kind-hearted, elderly neighbor, Dottie. The sensitive Henry seems to make friends at his new school a bit too easily, yet his strained relationship with Dottie's moody, sometimes mean-spirited teenaged niece is convincing. While it may be too slow for some modern sensibilities, this beautifully written, atmospheric novel is cut from the same character-centered cloth as such classic British ghost stories as Phillipa Pearce's Tom's Midnight Garden and Lucy Boston's Children of Green Knowe books. In addition, readers will get an engaging glimpse of 20th-century English military history. A worthwhile addition to any collection. (Fiction. 10-14) (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Linda Newbery

Linda enjoys researching her novels and besides a great deal of background reading has travelled for research purposes to Dublin, the Wicklow Mountains, Normandy, and the First World War battlefields in France and Belgium. She's also jumped out of a Cessna aeroplane at 2,000 feet, boarded a wartime Lancaster bomber, and overcome a fear of heights to go climbing in the Lake District. Linda lives in rural Northamptonshire with her husband and three cats. Apart from writing, she spends time reading, gardening, swimming, going to the cinema and theatre, and walking, especially in mountainous places like Wales, the Lake District and the West of Ireland.

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