Reader Reviewed Hell and High Water by Tanya Landman
  

Hell and High Water

Written by Tanya Landman

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

The astonishing story of a young man's quest to find justice for his father, from the Carnegie Medal-winning author of Buffalo Soldier. Holding the reader in suspense throughout it charts the growth of a frightened boy into a brave young man with the inspiration drawn from the shocking true story of Thomas Benson, an eighteenth-century Devonshire smuggler.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Edel Waugh - 'A truly wonderful book with adventure, mystery, and an inspiring young male character.' 
  • Alice East - 'Caleb and his father run a puppet show, making just enough money to live off.  When Caleb's father gets accused of a robbery it is up to Caleb to save him.'

Synopsis

Hell and High Water by Tanya Landman

Set in eighteenth-century Devon, this is the story of Caleb, the son of a poor puppeteer. When his father is wrongfully accused of theft and sentenced to transportation, Caleb is left all alone in the world. As a mixed race boy living in an age of slavery, he has always been treated with fear and mistrust. Without his father he is more vulnerable than ever, and is forced to seek out his estranged aunt. After a body washes up on a nearby beach, a shattered Caleb finds himself involved in a dastardly plot: a plot that places him and his newfound family in mortal danger. This powerful story holds the reader in suspense as it charts the growth of a frightened boy into a brave young man.

Tanya drew on her experiences of running puppet shows for Storybox Theatre to create Caleb's father's Punch & Judy show.

Reviews

Exploring prejudice and the corruption of the ruling classes, this absolutely gripping stuff. It can only be good news that more readers will find Landman's books thanks to her Carnegie success. The Bookseller A gripping historical novel for older children from a prize-winning author Western Morning News Rich, exciting, intelligent historical fiction from a Carnegie-winning author. Metro Heart-stoppingly good, romantic, passionate storytelling for a 12-plus audience. New Statesman Landman won the Carnegie Medal for her previous book Buffalo Soldier and this year's historical novel is just as gripping. [...] Landman's research is impeccable. Perfect for fans of Poldark. The Times ...I was reminded of another novel set in this part of the world, Jamaica Inn, as the young hero has to learn who can be trusted and who cannot. Not everyone is hostile, of course, and the darkness and danger are leavened by genuine good heartedness and true affection. And humour. Caleb's beloved father was a Punch and Judy man, and the Show tops and tails the novel, giving it a satisfying symmetry. That's the way to do it! Armadillo Magazine The pace is terrific, the plot having more twists and turns that your average five-season box set. The chapters are short and each one ends with a cliffhanger, and there are several major revelations that I didn't see coming. It is clearly based on detailed research, and there's a great sense of a particular time and place being brought to life in all its grit and gruesomeness. With its combinations of strong characters, important themes and terrific writing, Hell and High Water is an excellent example of the very high standard of current YA fiction. The Guardian From Carnegie Medal-winning Tanya Landman, a heart-stopping tale of a boy clearing his father's name. The Bookseller This is a beautifully written, fast-paced novel. [...]It is brilliant in the portrayal of the period and the corruption and inequality that controlled everyday existence for many. In Caleb and Letty I discovered two engaging characters with whom I empathized and I was delighted with the ending of their story. I would definitely recommend the novel. Historical Novel Society Review

About the Author

Tanya Landman

As a child
Tanya Landman used to spend a lot of time up trees (with a skipping rope tied around her waist), hoping to turn into a monkey. She spent the rest of the time rescuing snails, righting beetles and burying the birds that the cat brought home.

As an adult
Tanya studied for a degree in English Literature at Liverpool University before working in a bookshop, an arts centre and a zoo. Since 1992 Tanya has been part of Storybox Theatre working as a writer, administrator and performer - a job which has taken her to festivals all over the world. She lives with her husband, Rod Burnett, and two sons, Isaac and Jack, in Devon.

As an artist
Tanya had no ambition to write until Waking Merlin popped into her head a few years ago; but now she can't seem to stop writing! She says it's the best job ever - being allowed to spend hours staring into space, daydreaming...

Things you didn't know about Tanya Landman
1. Tanya once had a pet pig called Tilly.

2. She now has a ferocious Siamese cat called Edgar.

3. She can make a horse's top lip go all floppy.

4. She loves swimming in the sea, but is a total wuss about cold water and has to wear a wetsuit even in August.

5. In years and years of school PE lessons, she never ever managed to hit the rounders ball.

6. Or the tennis ball.

7. She knows how to scratch a pig until it gets faint with happiness.

8. She is scared of heights.

9. She can milk a goat.

10. She is kind to spiders, even though she is scared of them.

Q & A with Tanya Landman about her book Geronimo

What gave you the idea for this book?

A few years ago I wrote a book called Apache. When it was published I went all over the UK giving talks. I soon found out that no one knew much about the history of America. Some people didn’t even know how thousands of white European immigrants had crossed the Atlantic to America to settle there. Or that anyone else lived there first. Many thought an Apache was a helicopter or a computer program. They didn’t know anything about the native American people. That’s why I decided to write about Geronimo.

Was Geronimo the only great Indian warrior?
There were so many, I’d need another book to list them all. Each Indian tribe had its own extraordinary heroes – the Sioux had Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse who defeated General Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. The Apaches had Cochise, Juh and Victorio whose sister Lozen was a woman warrior.

If you could meet Geronimo, what would you ask him?
Geronimo became very famous. In 1905, when Theodore Roosevelt was elected as US President he asked Geronimo to ride in his parade. I’d ask Geronimo how he really felt about that.

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Book Info

Format

Hardback
320 pages
Interest Age: From 12

Author

Tanya Landman
More books by Tanya Landman

Author's Website

www.tanyalandman.com/

Author's Facebook Latest

Publisher

Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

1st October 2015

ISBN

9781406356618

Categories


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