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The Bride's Farewell by Meg Rosoff


Pell Ridley does not want to marry the “boy next door”, the boy she has known all of her life and who could offer her security. So, on the day that should have been her wedding day she sneaks out of the house and runs away.  She takes her grey horse Jack with her and her mute adopted brother, Bean, decides to join her.    

Life from the outset is hard. Her father is a preacher and a drunkard. He built their house but not very well; it is crooked. Her mother is weary from years of child-bearing and hard work. Pell also works hard and knows her way around horses.     

It all becomes harder as she looks for work and mainly fails to get it. She has much bad luck and becomes almost tragic: the negative comes as a result of her own actions, such as when Bean, Jack and her money go missing.  When she does finally find a dream of a job she has give it up because she must find missing Bean.    

There is resolution of sorts when what is left of her family is reconciled and Bean is homed well elsewhere. Her choice of future living arrangements may surprise us. 

There is no explicit sex, nor romance, but we are left with the impression that she and the poacher share a bed. That and the fact that the novel portrays a hard life make it suitable for young adults as well as teens. 

It is 185 pages long, with smallish blocked print and an adult font.      

Click on image to view on Amazon 


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Hilary McKay’s Fairy Tales

2017, fluent reader, Key Stage 2, ages 9-11, upper primary
Here are some familiar fairy stories though the titles may fool you: Rapunzel becomes The Tower and the Bird, Rumpelstiltskin becomesStraw into Gold, and Cinderella is Roses Around the Palace. We are also offered some rather interesting details about some well-known stories. The mayor of the town with the rats tells us how the children who replaced the lost ones were much more amenable than the ones who were piped away. A young girl has a sliver of the looking-glass that once belonged to a wicked queen.Whilst the girl has chickenpox her grandmother tells her Snow White’s story. It is true she assures her granddaughter. How does she know? Because she is Snow White. Hansel and Gretel tell the story of what they did in their holidays.
There is perhaps an assumption that the reader will be familiar with the original stories. Certainly they are amusing and not just for the young reader.Adults can enjoy them too. 
This is quite a …