A Very Good Chance by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

A Very Good Chance

Written by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

13+ readers   YA readers   
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In a Nutshell: Taking a chance | Choose your own path | A heart-warming tale about friendship and finding yourself, with added horse-driven adrenalin.

There are two outcasts in Minty’s class, Ned and Martin. Neither of them speak and they both “disappear at random times of the day for no obvious reason”. Martin stops coming to class after a horse-riding accident, which makes King of School Brendan snort with mocking laughter. From the moment Ned tells Brendan not to “talk about things you don't understand” things begin to change, especially for Minty. Firstly, she finds out that her parents are splitting up, which prompts ever-frequent trips to the refuge of Nettlebog Lane, a magical out-of-bounds place that gives her a “mad, free kind of feeling that makes you want to shout”. Minty’s deeper exploration of Nettlebog Lane leads to a second big change, for she discovers that Ned and his kindly gran live here in a caravan. Minty finds herself drawn to him, awed by the freedom he radiates, and by his affinity with horses. In fact, Ned’s talents are such that he’s planning to enter the local Ballycross Race. While Ned is seen by most as a delinquent, he has another ally in “sparkly and magic” teacher Serena. She tells the class that in her hometown, Siena, Ned would be worshipped for his riding prowess. Serena’s majestic description of the dramatic race that takes place in Siena’s Piazza del Campo has Ned and Minty enthralled. But not everyone in town is able to see past their misguided prejudices, and it’s going to take something – and someone - pretty special to save what Ned holds dear…

Minty evokes the magic of Nettlebog Lane with sensory wonder: yellow flowers are “butter-coloured blankets of bloom”; pink blossoms are “mini bundles of candy floss”. And both Ned and Minty are characters you warm to completely. How can your heart not melt when Minty realises, through Ned, that, “you don’t have to accept anyone else’s version of you. It’s much more exciting to invent your own version. You get to decide what that version is like”. This lovely life-affirming, lyrical tale is perfect for bridging the path between middle grade and teen fiction. ~ Joanne Owen


A Very Good Chance by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

Some people step through a wardrobe to find adventure, but Minty follows the twisty-turny trees into Nettlebog. There she finds Ned Buckley - the moody, mysterious boy who never talks at school. As Minty's world disintegrates around her she searches for refuge in Nettlebog, and she discovers more about Ned: he's able to ride wild horses. And he knows things about the human race that will save her. Or there's a very good chance at least.

The third novel from bestselling Irish author, Sarah Moore Fitzgerald.


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'It's a wonderful book that will leave you with a giant smile on your face, and a longing for the taste of homemade apple tart.' - THE BOOKBAG

About the Author

Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

Sarah Moore Fitzgerald was born in New York in 1965 but grew up in Co. Dublin. She's a professor and associate vice president at the University of Limerick in Ireland, specialising in psychology and effective pedagogy in higher education, and has published several non-fiction books on teaching, learning and academic writing. She runs regular writers' retreats for academics and students in Ireland and internationally.

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Book Info


240 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Sarah Moore Fitzgerald
More books by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

Author's Website



Orion Children's Books an imprint of Hachette Children's Group

Publication date

8th September 2016




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