So begins the horrifying story of a madman loose in a small seaside town- his prey the very young and the very old. Seen through the eyes of Hilary- a precocious, highly imaginative, lonely child- it is a chilling story about the perceptiveness of children, the blindness of parents and the allure of strangers. As the adults carry on with their own grown-up capers, Hilary is led further and further into the twilight world of one man's terrifyingly warped view of normal life. But will she have the sense to resist it?
Emma Reeves has created a stunning stage adaptation of Nina Bawden’s much loved classic account of life as an evacuee in the 1940s, which opened at the Lillian Bayliss Theatre in November 2006. This edition includes teachers' notes and activities for classes based on the play.
‘I doubt... anything will beat this traditional page-to-stage adaptation for ceaselessly involving telling of a cracking story’ - Evening Standard
‘Irresistible’ - Sunday Telegraph, Critic's Choice
‘Richly entertaining. Funny & deeply rewarding’ - Daily Telegraph, Critic’s Choice
‘Consistently excellent’ - The Times, Critic’s Choice
‘Dramatic, imaginative and polished’ - Evening Standard, Critic’s Choice
‘Excellent. Truly refreshing story-telling’ - Daily Mail
Jane Tucker is thirteen years old when she discovers she has a half-brother and sister, a revelation which promises to bring both excitement and succour to her ordinary life.
But obstacles lie in her path when, for unknown reasons, she is prevented from meeting them. Aided by her friend Plato, Jane tracks down her brother and sister to their home in the East End of London. There she finds still more surprises lie in store for her.
Can Jane at last be part of a 'proper' family, or must she always remain the outside child?
This is the story of a girl and her family and the secrets they keep from one another. Both funny and poignant, The Outside Child is a beautifully drawn study of adolescence from one of Britain's most skilled writers for children.
Penelope has always done her best to be a good wife, a good mistress, a good mother - and a good magistrate. Today she is more conscious that usual of the thinness of the thread that distinguishes good from bad, the law-abiding from the criminal. Sitting in court, hearing a short, sad case of indecent exposure and a long, confused theft, she finds herself examining her own sex life (how would all that sound in court?) her own actions and intentions while she observes the defendants in the dock.
This novel is a tour-de-force , an ingeniously constructed novel in which Nina Bawden counterpoints public appearance with private behaviour in her heroine, Penelope. The result is a marvellous picture of a not always admirable but engagingly complex and very human heroine. As always, Bawden offers a compelling story, sharply witty and beautifully observed. But it is also an honest and provocative book tracing the divergent courses of morality and justice, and uncomfortably posing, as Penelope does of herself, the question: who and what is a good woman?
Written in 1963, The Witch's Daughter showcases Nina Bawden's innate regard for the integrity of her young characters. As she has said: 'I like writing for children. It seems to me that most people underestimate their understanding and the strength of their feelings and in my books for them I try to put this right.' Hugely admired on publication by both reviewers and readers, it was described as 'thrilling' by the Times Literary Supplement.
The Runaway Summer was first published in 1969 to typically universal acclaim. It is, in the words of the Times Educational Supplement, an 'unputdownable gem of a book. The tale is beautifully constructed in diamond-hard language.'
Completed in 1963, The Secret Passage is Nina Bawden's first children's novel and was written especially for her own three children after they had discovered a secret passage in the cellar of their house. It beautifully reflects her own inquisitive nature - as she herself has said: 'I was a keyhole child, fearsomely curious' - wedded to her subtly innovative ability to empathise with the child's view.