Books

Image copyright Egmont 2011

 

'One of the great horse stories of recent time, from the same stable as Michael Morpurgo's epic, War Horse.' Egmont Books

SAMPHIRE SONG

 

‘A powerful, uplifting story about a teenage girl and her spirited stallion, fighting against the odds.’

 

When fourteen-year-old Jodie buys a wild horse at auction, she has no idea what she is taking on. Something has drawn her to Samphire – there’s an instant bond between them. She recognises he’s a damaged horse who needs time to mend. Jodie understands all about pain, having lost her dad two years before. Slowly, she gains Samphire’s trust and he starts to show the promise of being an outstanding eventer. And Jodie begins to blossom with a new confidence. But when her younger brother Ed becomes very ill and needs an operation, Jodie is faced with the biggest decision of her life. In order to help her mum and brother, she must let Samphire go. She makes him a promise – as soon as she can, she will find him and bring him home. It’s a promise that leads her into danger. But somewhere, Samphire is calling to her. She senses his life is at risk and there’s not much time. She must rescue him, whatever the cost.

 

Nominated for the Southern Schools’ Book Award 2012

Nominated for the Brilliant Book Award 2012

 

‘The Black Beauty for our generation. An incredibly uplifting novel and undoubtedly the most touching story I have ever read. I highly recommend this book’ Amazon Review‘

 

'A powerful, uplifting story about a girl and her spirited horse, fighting against the odds’ that will appeal to horse lovers and anyone looking for a great read! Beautiful writing turns this uplifting powerful drama for children into something quite above the ordinary - suitable for 10 years and over’ Primary Times

 

'A warm-hearted story that captures how a girl’s love for a beautiful, proud but troubled horse helps her to manage her own sadness after the death of her father.' Lovereading4kids.co.uk

 

'It's beautifully written and the characters will live long in the mind.'The Guardian

 

Originally published by Egmont, 2011

 

        Image copyright Egmont 2011

IF I COULD FLY

 

Calypso Summer. Yeah, that really is my name. 'A girl with such a name is on a journey. She will have adventures,' my mother used to murmur in my ear. And I am on a journey. I'm running from something terrible - but I don't know what. It's like my brain has blocked it out. For now, I'm learning to survive: to break the System and not get caught. I've found a friend I can trust. Next stop, freedom. Somehow, somewhere...

 

 

 

Calypso Summer is on the run, but she can’t remember the events that caused her to leave home. She’s scared and in pain, but she must learn to survive, fast. She must also avoid capture by the police, because teenagers who break the rules get sent for reconditioning. The free-runners Caly hangs out with have warned her about defying the System, There’s a deadly virus in the country too, so nowhere is safe. She takes refuge in a derelict children’s hospital and meets Dair, a renegade who tells her she mustn’t give up fighting for freedom. But when Dair disappears, she finds herself alone and vulnerable again. She’s befriended by a boy called Alfie – and for the first time, Caly feels a bond with someone her own age. A mate who understands how much she misses her mum; who tells her she will remember what happened. But Alfie is hiding a secret that will force her to make the biggest decision of her life. Can Caly ever return home or will she stay on the run forever?

 

Nominated, Waterstone's Children's Book Award 2011

Shortlisted, People's Book Prize, 2011

Nominated, Brilliant Book Award 2012

Nominated, Redbridge Children's Book Award 2012

Shortlisted for the Amazing Book Awards 2012

 

'A satisfying blend of action and reflection for young teens.' Daily Mail, January 2011.

'A beautifully written coming-of-age story.' The Bookseller, July 2011

'haunting and magical ... a cleverly unravelled story that keeps readers guessing for a long time.' reviewed by Julia Eccleshare, Lovereading4kids, January 2011

This futuristic and unusual novel is infused with mystery from the very first page ... lyrically written, surprising and original.' Chicklish, January 2011.

'An elegant, slightly dystopian, kaleidoscopically surreal coming- of-age story ...' The Bookette, January 2011

'... a striking novel that shocked me with a mind-blowing twist at the end that will be loved and remembered by everyone who reads it.' So Many Books, So Little Time January 2011

'Young people will enjoy the fast-paced action, sense of menace and twist that leads to the denouement. Hucklesby has written a satisfying story with a difference for this age group.' Write Away, January 2011

'... a powerful story, featuring a puzzle, set in unknown surroundings, which means you can't know what is OK and what isn't. Very thought-provoking. And I didn't see the end coming.' The Bookwitch, January 2011.

'A really original novel. 'If I Could Fly' tackles issues that ordinary teenagers face in an extraordinary setting.' Robert Napier School with Medway Libraries Headspace Reading Group, January 2011

'I really liked that the mysteries unfolded for the reader at the same time as they did for Caly. It made me feel closer to her.' Robert Napier School with Medway Libraries Headspace Reading Group, January 2011

 

Originally published by Egmont, 2011

For younger readers

 

A young girl's dream of owning a pet comes true after the rabbit she rescues finally comes to live with her, and brings a furry friend too! Based on a true-life RSPCA rescue, this is Jill's second title for the successful series.

 

Created for young readers, with drawings by Jon Davis, this story was chosen as part of the Summer Reading Challenge, 2018. A percentage of the sale price goes to the charity.

 

Published by Scholastic in 2013

Image copyright Orchard Books 2008

LAST KISS OF THE BUTTERFLY

 

Jaz is one determined teenager. Whether it’s getting that Taekwondo move just right, or investigating the latest cancer treatment to help her mum, giving up just isn’t in her vocabulary.A year on from diagnosis, her mum’s latest tests are clear and life in London is returning to normal. Jaz is looking forward to spending time in the summer holidays with her mates, the ‘Urban Chicks’. When her mum suddenly announces they are going to spend the whole six weeks at the family cottage in the marshes and be ‘girls together’, Jaz is downcast. Away from her urban lifestyle, she struggles, but slowly begins to tune in to her alternative summer, with its wide skies, rainbows and rare wildlife – and her deepening relationship with her mum.But the easy-going rhythm of their existence is broken by a dark cloud of news. Jaz’s world starts to spin like the sails on the marsh wind turbines and it is her unexpected friendship with Ethan, the strange, silent son of the local ranger, which helps her face the challenges to come. Jaz’s strength is about to be tested as it never has been before and it will take more than her sightings of dolphins in the bay to help her overcome the new storm on the horizon.

 

Published by Orchard Books, August 2008

 

Nominated, Southern Schools’ Book Award 2009

 

 

‘A remarkable book and highly recommendable’ School Librarian magazine

 

‘With themes of family, friendship and change at the forefront of this moving, passionate and engrossing tale of a mother and daughter, Last Kiss of the Butterfly will hook you in to its pages and take you on a rollercoaster of emotions that will bring about a greater maturity both in the protagonist and the reader.’ Lovereading4Kids.co.uk

 

You will definitely need tissues when you read this book! For anyone who loves Jenny Downham's Before I Die, … a beautiful story. Waterstone’s review

           Image copyright Orchard Books 2007

DEEPER THAN BLUE

 

Amy’s Law. Never Give up. Go for it.’ But the law is about to be broken. Amy’s world will change forever. Can she survive the deep water and follow her dream?

 

Amy Curtis has an Olympic dream – to swim for Team GB. She becomes County Freestyle champion in Nottingham and is a local heroine, especially to her mum, dad, big sister Caz and best friend Sophie. Her coach Dan thinks she has it all – courage, talent and dedication.


But whilst celebrating with Sophie, the dream shatters. An accident turns 13-year-old Amy’s life upside down. She feels broken and useless, but finds an ally in Harry Higgins (14), her sparky hospital mate. Harry has his own health battles, but nothing stops him being the life and soul of Sunflower Ward. Amy and Harry form a deep bond and with his help, she starts to laugh again.

The Curtis family relocates to the South of England to help Amy rebuild her life away from the pool, but her new physio Ramoul, a Jamaican born rap fiend, has other ideas. He inspires her to get back in the water. Harry also tells her to follow her dream. Amy determines to compete again, but with family tensions at breaking point, her Olympic goal has a cost she never imagined.
 

Deeper Than Blue was optioned for TV production by Endemol UK in 2010.

Winner, Le Prix Vendee Lire, France, 2014
Winner of the 1066 Schools’ Book Award 2008
Shortlisted for the Bolton Children’s Book Award 2008
Shortlisted for the Spellbinding Award, Cumbria, 2008. 
Longlisted for the Branford Boase Award for an outstanding first novel for children, 2008.

 

‘A powerful story of the journey of an inspirational & feisty role model overcoming adversity and bereavement. A very emotional tale.’ Waterstone’s review

‘This is a moving story which looks at how Amy copes and overcomes the consequences of the accident. Absolutely fantastic’.  Waterstone’s review 

‘This book was FABULOUS! I really enjoyed it – within minutes I was hooked but sometimes it was an emotional roller coaster. I would recommend this book to anyone to be honest. The start is heartbreaking, but the ending is a stunning fairytale.’ 
Waterstone’s Junior Proof Readers, Ayr Branch

‘A moving coming-of-age tale from a talented author.’LoveReading4kids.co.uk

‘I think this is one of the best books I have ever read, it has so much good and sad emotion in it! I think it’s gr8! Also the best story lines! It’s totally amazing!’  Sam, The Deckchair site, 2009.

‘I think that the book is amazing, it is fantastic to read and my number 1 by miles.’ Sophie, The Deckchair site, 2009

‘I think that this book was so good that they should make a film out of it, my dad agreed and he is a film director!’ Issy, The Deckchair site, 2007

‘It’s a deeply  moving story and it’s a great way to encourage people to fulfil their dreams. Please keep going. Thank you.’ Isabel (from a reader)  

 

Originally published by Orchard Books, 2007     

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