A Dark Trade by Mary Hooper

A Dark Trade

Written by Mary Hooper

13+ readers   Super-readable Dyslexia-friendly   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Interest Age Teen Reading Age 8 Mary Hooper tells a thrilling tale of secrets, deception and escapes set in Victorian England, a period she writes about with passion and precision. Life for poor young women in the century was extremely limited. Georgina is employed as housemaid to a wealthy family, but finds it as hard as life in the orphanage she recently left. A bright young woman, she runs away disguised as a boy, actions that open up new opportunities. Employed by a clothes seller who has his own secrets, much darker than hers, it’s not long before she must escape again, this time in the company of another clever young woman. Tautly plotted, this gothic tale with its determined young heroines will fascinate teenage girls from the first page to the last. ~ Andrea Reece

Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+

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A Dark Trade by Mary Hooper

A richly atmospheric page-turner from the author of Fallen Grace. The maze-like, mysterious world of Victorian London is the perfect setting for the story of a girl who becomes a boy to ensure her survival in the darkest trade of the underworld - the body business.

Gina knows that Victorian London is no place for an orphaned girl - there are those that would literally steal the hair off her head. And so Gina finds work with Thread and Spider as 'George', selling burial outfits stripped off rich corpses. The work is dangerous and illegal, but it is better than starving. But then Thread and Spider's demands increase and friendship with blind beggar girl Annameans that Gina has something to lose. Mary Hooper weaves her trademark spell on her readers with this enchanting book.

Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+

About the Author

Mary Hooper

Says of herself: I was born in Barnes, South West London, which became expensive and trendy as soon as I left it. I often – nostalgically and rather lazily – use Barnes as a setting for my books. If I speak of a river then I’m thinking of the Thames, and if it’s a park or common then I picture Barnes Common. I was able to utilise all these local points and bring in Mortlake and Richmond, too, when I was writing two books about Queen Elizabeth I’s magician, Dr Dee, who lived in Mortlake.

I started working as a window dresser, but soon went into an office and – very valuable, this, for a writer – learned to type. One day I read a short story, thought that I could do better and sat down and wrote one. I sent it to Jackie, a teenage magazine, and much to my surprise sold it for £14. I was launched as a writer! I went on to write lots of short stories, and then serials, and eventually decided to write a book. At the time, there were hardly any books for teenagers, so I found getting published quite easy, but it’s very different now. I’ve written perhaps seventy or so books for children and young adults, most of them set in modern times, but as soon as I began writing historical novels I realised how much I loved doing this, and decided I didn’t want to write any more modern ones. No, not even any Megans!

I’m married to Richard and we live in Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire. I’ve still got a VW Beetle, but have upgraded it to a cabriolet version, which will be lovely when the weather improves and I can put the top down (if I can remember how to do it). My children are very grown up, my son is a writer and works for New Scientist and my daughter works for Microsoft - and has recently presented me with a gorgeous first grandson, Mackenzie. I look after him on Wednesdays so don’t ever bother me then! My hobbies are reading (of course), pottering around the house, painting furniture and being nosy (which goes with being a writer).

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Book Info


88 pages


Mary Hooper
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Barrington Stoke Ltd

Publication date

15th January 2016




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