Ingo by Helen Dunmore


Written by Helen Dunmore

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

This is the first of the Ingo quartet. Helen Dunmore has done what few authors succeed in doing. She’s created an absolutely believable mythical world alongside our own. One that makes you want to be there more than anything else, one that is both spellbinding and magical. Ingo is a world in which you will be totally entranced and entrapped. And it’s so eloquently written.

To read the series in order start with Ingo then The Tide Knot (which won the Nestle Children’s Book Prize Silver Medal) then The Deep and end with The Crossing of Ingo.

Click here to view them all.


Ingo by Helen Dunmore

This is a spellbinding magical adventure. Master storyteller Helen Dunmore writes the story of Sapphire and her brother Conor, and their discovery of INGO, a powerful and exciting world under the sea. You'll find the mermaid of Zennor inside Zennor church. She fell in love with a human, but she was a Mer creature and so she couldn't come to live with him up in the dry air. She swam up the stream to hear him sing, then one day he swam down it and was never seen again. He became one of the Mer people! Sapphire's father told her that story when she was little. When he is lost at sea she can't help but think of that old myth; she's convinced he's still alive. The following summer her brother Conor keeps disappearing for hours on end. She goes to the cove to find him, but instead meets Faro, an enigmatic and intriguing Merman. He takes her to Ingo and introduces her to a world she never knew existed. She must let go of all her Air thoughts and embrace the sea and all things Mer. After her first visit she is entranced - merely the sound of running water makes her yearn to be in Ingo once more. Ingo blood runs strongly in Sapphy and Conor fears she will leave the Air world for good.;He pleads with her to ignore her craving for the sea and stay safely in their cottage up on the cliff. But not only is Sapphy intoxicated by the Mer world, she longs to see her father once more. And she's sure she can hear him singing across the water! "I wish I was away in Ingo Far across the briny sea!"


Praise for Ingo:

"Ingo has a haunting, dangerous beauty all of its own." Philip Ardagh, Guardian

"The electric thrill of swimming with dolphins, of racing along currents, and of leaving the world of reason and caution behind are described with glorious intensity." Amanda Craig, The Times

"Compellingly lyrical." Independent

"Helen Dunmore may have a few drowned readers on her conscience, so enticing and believable is the underwater world she creates in Ingo." Telegraph

"Helen Dunmore is an exceptional and versatile writer and she writes with a restrained, sensual grace." Observer

"A remarkable fantasy! It's a haunting, beautifully written book which creates a totally believable parallel world." Northern Echo

"Ingo is an intoxicating adventure! Wonderful, evocative storytelling." Publishing News

Praise for The Deep:

"Dunmore's writing, steeped in maritime legends, is exquisite. The descriptions of plunging 'sleek and fast as a seal' through turquoise water into the rich blue-purple that lies beneath are gorgeous. The Deep is sophisticated and supple." The Daily Telegraph

"Dunmore's series is written in a sensual, descriptive prose that evokes the watery kingdom with conviction. Characters are clear-cut and written with exuberance." Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times Culture

"Dunmore appears to be able to turn her hand to any genre and transform it with her golden touch, making it wholly compulsive and convincing." Glasgow Herald

Praise for The Tide Knot:

"Intensely compelling! gorgeous." Amanda Craig, The Times

"Dunmore's graceful style is what makes the unbelievable believable!" The Independent on Sunday

"Like the ocean itself, this book is deep and strange and marvellous." Nial MacMonagle, The Irish Times

"This is a wonderful fantasy story!" Jan Winter,

About the Author

Helen Dunmore

A message from the author:
‘I was born in December 1952, in Yorkshire, the second of four children. My father was the eldest of twelve, and this extended family has no doubt had a strong influence on my life, as have my own children. In a large family you hear a great many stories. You also come to understand very early that stories hold quite different meanings for different listeners, and can be recast from many viewpoints. Poetry was very important to me from childhood. I began by listening to and learning by heart all kinds of rhymes and hymns and ballads, and then went on to make up my own poems, using the forms I’d heard. Writing these down came a little later. During the 1980s and early 1990s I taught poetry and creative writing, and in the late 1980s I began to publish short stories, and these were the beginning of a breakthrough into fiction. What I had learned of prose technique through the short story gave me the impetus to start writing novels. My first novel for children was published in 1992, and my first novel for adults was published in 1993.’

Born in Yorkshire, Helen Dunmore studied English at York University and taught in Finland for two years before publishing her first poetry. She has worked as a writer, reader, performer and teacher of Poetry and Creative Writing, tutoring many residential writing courses for the Arvon Foundation and taking part in the Poetry Society's Writer in Schools scheme. She has also taught at a number of universities. She reviews fiction and poetry, contributes to arts programmes on BBC radio and has been a judge for many literary awards, including the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Whitbread Book of the Year award. Her first poetry collection was published in 1983 and she has since been shortlisted for the prestigious TS Eliot Poetry prize. Her first novel for adults, Zennor in Darkness was published in 1993 and she won the inaugural orange Prize for Fiction in 1996. She has written many books for children, the first of which came in 1992. The first book in the Ingo series of novels for children was published in 2005. The second, The Tide Knot (2006), won the Nestle Children’s Book Prize Silver Medal. The third in the Ingo series, The Deep, was published in 2007, and the fourth and final book, The Crossing of Ingo, came out in paperback in 2009. Helen Dunmore is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has received honorary doctorates from the University of Glamorgan and the University of Exeter. She was on the Management Committee of the Society of Authors 2002-2005 and was Chair of the Society of Authors 2005-2006. She is married and has a step-son, a son and a daughter.

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Book Info


Paperback (b Format)
336 pages
Interest Age: From 10


Helen Dunmore
More books by Helen Dunmore

Author's Website


Harpercollins Publishers

Publication date

2nd May 2006




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