Frozen Billy by Anne Fine
  

Frozen Billy

Written by Anne Fine

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Anne Fine brings a chilling touch to her story of how the inanimate becomes animate in this gripping story of power from an unusual source. Initially, young Clarrie has no idea of the power that seems to come from Frozen Billy, her Uncle Len’s ventriloquist’s dummy. She struggles to keep the family going in the absence of her parents and, although many things go wrong, she seems to be coping. But, when her brother Will joins the music hall act a terrible force seems to be unleashed. How can Clarrie control this unnatural force?

The Lovereading comment:

Clarrie is eager to help the family out of the grinding poverty into which they have fallen so initially she’s delighted when her brother Will is used to help her uncle’s ventriloquist act. It certainly makes a difference; the money comes rolling in and everyone is happier. But soon, Will’s role in supporting the boy puppet Frozen Billy seems to be leading him into danger and Clarrie finds herself caught up in a scary fight to save his life. A haunting story with a strong period setting

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Synopsis

Frozen Billy by Anne Fine

Clarrie is determined to save her family when Uncle Len recruits her younger brother to help him with his ventriloquist act on the music-hall stage. For slowly but surely, it seems as if Will is turning into another dummy - another Frozen Billy.


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Reviews

Fine's genius for storytelling reaches new heights: simple, direct and with a subtle period feel to the narrative and dialogue * Independent * Unsettling and atmospheric, this story of a young brother and sister boldly making their own fates is told in the voice of the girl with lightness and simplicity but covers dark and complex territory before reaching its happy ending * The Sunday Times * Full of terrific characters and deceptions and intrigues * TES *

About the Author

Anne Fine

Anne Fine was our Guest Editor in July 2011. Click here to see the books she selected.

Anne Fine was born and educated in the Midlands and now lives in County Durham. She has written numerous highly acclaimed and prize-winning books for children and adults.

Her novel The Tulip Touch won the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year Award; Goggle-Eyes won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award and the Carnegie Medal and was adapted for television by the BBC; Flour Babies won the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year Award; Bill's New Frock won a Smarties Prize, and Madame Doubtfire became the major feature film 'Mrs Doubtfire' starring Robin Williams. Anne was named Children's Laureate in 2002 and made an OBE for services to children's literature in 2003.

Click here to read a Q&A with the author or click here to read an extended biography in which Anne talks about her writing.

Here is a letter from author, Sarah Forbes to Anne Fine, who visited her home town when she was eight and made a lasting impression.

Dear Anne Fine,
You won’t remember this, but in the late 1980s you visited Stonehaven Library as part of an author tour. Stonehaven is a lovely place: a small seaside resort on the east coast of Scotland near Aberdeen. It has an open-air swimming pool and a ruined castle. These days it’s famous for being the home of the deep-fried Mars bar. (Yes, I have eaten a deep-fried Mars bar. No, that isn’t why I’m writing this.)

I remember your visit vividly because I was an avid, avid reader of your books. You coming to town was like having a famous pop star parachute in for the day. The excitement of having an actual, real author come to speak to us! Someone whose books I could reach out and touch on the library shelves in the children’s section upstairs where you did your event.

For a kid living in a big literary city like Edinburgh or London, meeting authors might not be such a big deal. Authors tend to work hard to promote their books and the ones I know do as many events as they can. But let me tell you, rural Aberdeenshire in the 80s was not a hotbed of literary discovery, and you coming to town meant a lot. I think that was the point when I realized writing could be a career. Maybe one day, I could be a writer too.

Many, many years later, I found myself back in the children’s section of Stonehaven Library promoting my own children’s books. That felt incredibly weird and incredibly lovely all at the same time. I’m excited to say I’ll also be talking to kids about my Elspeth Hart books at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this month. I have so much fun doing my own events, but my favourite part is when I ask if anyone likes writing or wants to be a writer and dozens of hands shoot up. The ideas these kids have are amazing. I wonder if it’s easier to dream your way into becoming a writer when you meet grown-ups who’ve done the same thing?

Either way, I relish every minute of getting to meet my readers, and part of the reason I appreciate it, Anne, is you.

Warm wishes,
Sarah Forbes

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Book Info

Format

Paperback
192 pages

Author

Anne Fine
More books by Anne Fine

Author's Website

www.annefine.co.uk/

Publisher

Random House Children's Books

Publication date

1st June 2006

ISBN

9780440866305

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