children's & young adult fiction
RED FOX RUNNING
Published 2007. Andersen Press
2008. Collins, as part of the Collins School Readers list
This is a fast-paced, entertaining adventure story set in the Arctic in the 19th century. Aimed at readers of secondary school age. Adam is a cabin-boy on an Arctic expedition. Also aboard is an Inuit girl, Pipaluk. Adam hopes to find out about his father who has been missing since his whaler struck an iceberg. The expedition ship is beset by ice and crushed. The crew struggle across the frozen sea. Adam and Pipaluk become separated from the group and make their way to Pipaluk’s village on the west coast of Greenland. Adam lives with them, adapting to the ways of the Inuit. After many adventures Adam finds his father – but not before he has fallen in love with Pipaluk.
“As well as being a very well written adventure story, it is also about relationships, both with the environment and with our fellow man, regardless of culture.” (The Bookseller)
“This is a really good book to be enjoyed by all. It will keep you hooked on every page!” (First News)
“An uplifting, heart-warming, yet at times despairing tale that takes the reader from the slums of London to the cramped and claustrophobic decks of the ‘Prince Consort’ and ends up in the beautifully described Arctic Greenland….. I enjoyed this novel because of, not only the gripping adventure, but the insight into Inuit culture and lifestyle and the boy-to-man change Adam went through. With the addition of a romantic side story and a powerful warning about the destruction of the environment, it makes for a very interesting and riveting read.” (Pupil, aged 12, at Dumbarton Academy, where Red Fox Running was used as a class reader)
WHERE THE FOREST AND THE
Published 1980. Kestrel Books. Illustrated by Richard Kennedy
Where the Forest and the Garden Meet is a collection of stories for children of about 8-12, although people of all ages seem to enjoy this book. The setting is India in the 1940s in the last years of the British Raj. The stories are about a reprobate old cat called Timmo. He usually ignored the people that moved in and out of the bungalow assigned to army officers and their families. They never stayed long anyway and the garden was his domain. But when the Skinner family moved in it was different. First of all there was the Major’s son, Rory, a staunch supporter of Timmo through all his misdeeds. Then there was Cleopatra, the most beautiful Siamese cat Timmo had ever seen. Though devoted to them both, the notorious Timmo’s reputation grew worse. Chaos reigned wherever he went, but strangely enough he had the knack of bringing good fortune in unexpected ways.