The beauty of well-crafted stories is that others see the possibilities for the themes and characters to be explored more. Karen McCombie does a fantastic job in entering this world and drawing out something new and, importantly, interesting.
Ettie Shaw lives a nice enough life when compared to other children growing up in Victorian England. But in such fragile times, life can be turned upside down quickly. Her close family of her mother and brother, Joe, work hard to keep a roof over their heads until one day Joe leaves and doesn’t return. Heartbroken, her mother and Ettie try to carry on but life can be cruel. I won’t spoil the story, but the title is a huge giveaway to the path she takes to survive.
Now for the teacher bit. This book is a must for schools learning about the Victorian era and Dickens. It is something that Barrington Stoke have became so effective in doing: historical fiction littered with so many curriculum links. I particularly like the author’s notes at the back that explains the different aspects of the period that are highlighted in each chapter. A perfect teacher guide to be honest.
You’ve got to read a page or two, you’ve got to read a page or two…