Beyond The Hedge by Mairi Craw

Beyond The Hedge

Written by Mairi Craw

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

As its title implies this is the story of two worlds; you could say a 21st century Alice in Wonderland. Original, pacy, laced with humour and full of magical realism, it features a parallel fantasy world where 11 year old Sandy goes after seeing her beloved cat disappear into at the end of her overgrown garden. Full of delightful, engaging and beautifully crafted characters who all have a great deal of attitude and memorable personalities, it’s a novel that will surprise you and devour you by turns. Beautifully written with elegant prose and unusually for a book that has appeal to adult and child alike, interspersed with some stunning line illustrations that will delight. It’s all the more surprising too that it is a debut novel. So dive into this enchanting and magical world right now by reading the extract here at Lovereading and decide for yourself whether you want to buy it.

We appreciate this is an expensive book by comparison to some of the other recommendations on the site (this is because the book has been produced by a small publisher jointly with the author), so we have gained clearance from the author to offer you a longer extract than the one we have on the site currently. Just email us at and we will forward a longer extract of the book. We're sure you and your children will be completely hooked as a result.


Beyond The Hedge by Mairi Craw

Eleven-year-old Sandy Henderson lives a carefree life with her family in a quiet port on Scotland"s south-west coast, unaware that the parallel world of Sylvania lies beyond a huge hedge at the bottom of their overgrown garden. When her beloved cat, Leo, tumbles headlong into this enchanted land, while they're exploring unfamiliar territory, Sandy undertakes a dangerous journey to bring him home again. In the company of Jock, a handsome, swaggering crow, and the Hendersons' haughty Siamese cat, Jamie, Sandy encounters a host of colourful characters along the way, all of whom have the power of speech, including Pongo, the hairiest dog imaginable, master of quips and 'one-liners', Lorimer, an outrageous lobster who lives by the motto 'Dress to Thrill!', and self-serving 'Captain' Pestilence Grimshaw who joins forces with Maligna the Harpie, the monstrous entity whose sole preoccupation is the destruction of everything Sylvanians hold dear. Sandy quickly discovers that Scottish fairy folk are witty, resourceful and tenacious, even when faced with evil on an unprecedented scale. Will she be in time to save Leo? And will Sandy and her companions ever see Scotland again?

About the Author

Mairi Craw

Mairi Craw graduated with an MA in English Literature and History of Fine Art from Glasgow University. She worked for the BBC World Service before starting her own publicity and design business. Mairi lives with her family and a host of animals in rural Dorset in the south of England. She is also a member of the West Country Writers' Association. Beyond the Hedge is the first of a series of novels inspired by her childhood in Scotland.

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Mairi Craw
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Publication date

28th October 2005




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