Sunday, June 5, 2022

The Secret Diary of Jane Pinny by Philip Ardagh and Jamie Littler

2017

fluent reader, upper primary, Key Stage 2, ages 9-11, Ardagh Philip, Littler Jamie, historical, Victorian era,        

Jane Pinny becomes a maid at one of the very big houses.  She learns her trade well and fits in comfortably with the other servants and the owners. She becomes a detective when a necklace goes missing. This happens because an attempt to hide it went wrong; her employer had attempted to hide it from his wife as what she proposed to wear was actually a copy. The person they are visiting will see this straight away. However, his young son then hides the necklace up the chimney.

Jane’s first person present tense narrative allows the reader to experience the growth with the protagonist.

Philip Ardagh adds footnotes to explain some to the facts about Victorian life.

Jamie Littler’s pictures are at the time endearing and also a little quirky. There are illustrations on almost every page certainly on every double spread. These not only illustrate but are also full of extra interesting and informative detail.

The pages have blackened edges, making it look a little as if the book has also been up the chimney.

Unusually the text is ragged right but it uses a serif font and has difficult ‘a’s and ‘g’s. The text is 182 pages long.   

This text is produced in association with the National Trust.  

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