Hell and High Water by Tanya Landman

Hell and High Water

Written by Tanya Landman

11+ readers   All Shortlists and Winners   13+ readers   Guardian Fiction Prize   Summer Reading   UKLA 2017   
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Longlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award | Longlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2016 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.

Guardian Children's Fiction Prize Judge David Almond: “Landman is a brilliant writer and the book is beautifully written and wonderfully paced. She handles a complex wide-ranging plot with vivacity, verve and skill.”

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.'


Hell and High Water by Tanya Landman

From the Carnegie Medal-winning author of Buffalo Soldier Tanya Landman comes this heart-stopping tale of a young man's attempt to clear his father's name. When his father is arrested and transported to the Colonies, Caleb is left alone. After a desperate journey in search of an aunt he's never met he receives a strange, cold welcome. Then a body washes up on the nearby beach and Caleb is caught up in a terrifying net of lies and intrigue. Soon he and his new family are 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.


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

This is a truly exciting story with a hero that we really want to succeed. [...] We can hear the cries of the sailors and stall holders and smell the aromas of the sea. [...] Yet another brilliant book from this Carnegie winning author. The School Librarian

This is a demanding, but highly satisfying, read. IBW Children's Book Guide, The Bookseller

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


320 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Tanya Landman
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Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

5th May 2016




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