Written by Michelle Magorian
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The Lovereading4Kids comment
From the award winning author of Goodnight Mister Tom comes a page turning tale. Warmhearted and full of period detail, Just Henryis a wonderful story of growing up and seizing life’s opportunities. It’s post war Britain and life should be getting better for all – and some things are. But Henry finds an increasing number of unanswered questions about his life and gradually, as he learns the answers, he finds his life is rather different from how it had seemed. As ever, Michelle Magorian gets to the emotional heart of issues.
Just Henry won the 2008 Costa Children’s Book Award - the judges said 'This is a master storyteller at work with the sort of descriptive writing that is a joy to read. Just Henry is a soaring, uplifting warm bath of a book – a wonderful roller-coaster of a story which we all absolutely loved.'
Just Henry by Michelle Magorian
This is a gripping mystery-thriller and an insightful snapshot of time, set in post-war Britain. It's 1949 and life is bleak for Henry. He misses his father who died a war hero, and he escapes from his annoying stepfather and stepsister whenever he can and goes to the cinema - his passion.One day in the cinema queue he meets Mrs Beaumont who also loves films, and lends Henry a camera for his school project. Henry is disgusted that he's been put in a group with Jeffries, the son of a man who went AWOL, and Pip, who was born illegitimate; but he's about to learn that tolerance and friendship are more important than social stigmas.Henry will need his new friends when he processes the film and makes an alarming discovery.Like a bomb waiting to explode, Henry's world is about to unravel.
What the Costa judges said:
'This is a master storyteller at work with the sort of descriptive writing that is a joy to read. Just Henry is a soaring, uplifting warm bath of a book – a wonderful roller-coaster of a story which we all absolutely loved.'
Michelle Magorian on being shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award:
I’d like to say that I was delighted when I first heard that I was on the Costa shortlist but to be honest I couldn’t take it in. In fact I felt somewhat detached. After all, what had this to do with the characters I had been living with privately for so long? Having finished Just Henry, all I hoped for was that my readers would be pulled into their story. That was more than enough for me. Even after I had heard the shortlist announced on the radio it still didn’t feel quite real and the following day I double-checked the newspapers to confirm it. Now that it has sunk in I feel incredibly happy. To have one’s story selected from a swathe of wonderful books means that not only has my story been enjoyed but more people will now pick up the book and get to know the characters that I have become so fond of these past few years. The Costa shortlist will also bring other books to people’s attention too and they’ll be tempted to read them. I’ve already bought two copies and ordered another!
Cally Poplak, Michelle's Editor and a Director of Egmont Press:
It’s been ten years since Michelle’s last book and hasn’t it been worth the wait! Just Henry is a novel that challenges us to hold the mirror up to our own prejudices; a novel – written long before the credit crunch – that reminds us of that old fashioned value, resourcefulness; but, above all, it’s a meaty, enthralling, Sunday afternoon novel to read with the whole family. It’s a treat to have a new book by Michelle – and one that so brilliantly articulates the feelings of children as they navigate their way through childhood. I am thrilled to see it on the Costa shortlist.
About the Author
Interest Age: From 9
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Egmont Books Ltd an imprint of Egmont UK Ltd
7th May 2015
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