The fire was a family tragedy that Jamie can't forget, even in his dreams. And now there is something terrifying happening to him in Crownhill, the village where he's been sent to get over his problems. Something to do with an evil old witch who gets into his nightmares, and a frightened girl, the victim of a long-ago witch hunt, whose presence lingers on. As the dark secrets of Crownhill are revealed Jamie has to confront his worst fears in order to free himself from the horrors of the past. Marcus Sedgwick weaves extracts from reports of a seventeenth-century witch hunt into a tense and brilliant novel.
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(198mm x 129mm x 15mm)
Orion Children's Books (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
Publisher: Hachette Children's Group
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
After the trauma of a house fire, Jamie is sent by his parents to the village of Crownhill to live with his Aunt Jane and cousin Alison. However, far from being a sleepy village, it has a dark and disturbing past. The chalk figure on the hill, revealed by the painstaking work of Jane and the villagers, confirms the village's shocking legacy. Jamie's dreams are haunted by the fire, in which his sister nearly died, and by the figure of a ragged, horrifying witch. The story will appeal to teenagers who enjoy seeing the link between past and present. Jamie is an appealing hero, who battles in life and in his dreams to come to terms with his fears. Alison and Aunt Jane are quite well drawn but since they are both holding something back from Jamie, in the mistaken belief that it is for his own protection, they do not interact with him as closely as the reader would expect. Nevertheless, Sedgwick's description draws the reader in to Jamie's nightmares, and we can see how easily modern prejudices stem from ancient beliefs in the villager's treatment of Jane and Alison. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Marcus Sedgwick
Marcus Sedgwick is a full time author. His first novel, Floodland, won the Branford Boase Award for the best debut children's novel of 2000. Since then his books have been shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Blue Peter Book Award, the Costa Book Award, the Carnegie Medal and the Edgar Allan Poe Award. Find his website at www.marcussedgwick.com and follow him on Twitter @marcussedgwick.