Raven Mysteries 3: Lunatics and Luck by Marcus Sedgwick
  

Raven Mysteries 3: Lunatics and Luck

Written by Marcus Sedgwick
Part of the Raven Mysteries Series

7+ readers   All Shortlists and Winners   9+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Winner of the Blue Peter Book Award 2011: Most Fun Story with Pictures*.

As told by a raven, this Gothic horror richly laced in humour is a delicious read – especially when the moon is full! Castle Otherhand is beset by problems. There are the usual ones of money troubles but this time there is a horrible new teacher who smells like a wet dog to contend with and Solstice and Cudweed are at his mercy. Enjoy all the usual – and decidedly unusual - happenings in this richly created world.


Lovereading comment:
If you’ve not yet entered the topsy-turvy world of The Raven Mysteries, then you’re missing an absolute treat. Sedgwick’s wonderful creation of a rather dysfunctional family is as original as it is weird and kids of 7+ will love the rather oddball humour and quirky characters including Edgar, the Raven who is also the Guardian of Otherland Castle and its secret weapon.


*Here is a list of all the shortlisted books for the Blue Peter Book Award 2011:



Best Book with Facts:


Do Igloos Have Loos? - Mitchell Symons


How the World Works - Christiane Dorion


What You Need To Know Now: The World in Facts, Stats, and Graphics - Joe Fullman, Ian Graham, Sally Regan and Isabel Thomas


Most Fun Story with Pictures:


Alienography - Chris Riddell


Mr Gum and the Cherry Tree - Andy Stanton


Lunatics and Luck (The Raven Mysteries) - Marcus Sedgwick


Favourite Stories:


Dead Man's Cove (A Laura Marlin Mystery) - Lauren St John


A Web of Air (Mortal Engines) - Philip Reeve


Tall Story - Candy Gourlay

Synopsis

Raven Mysteries 3: Lunatics and Luck by Marcus Sedgwick

Join the wonderfully weird Otherhand family and their faithful guardian, Edgar the raven, and discover the dark secrets of Castle Otherhand.

Solstice and Cudweed are appalled to find their father has appointed a new school master. But things get even worse when the grumpy, viciously mean teacher actually arrives. The Otherhand children are sure there's something more to him than meets the eye - the trouble is, who will believe them? No one it seems. Except, perhaps, Edgar.

Third in a brand new six book series of tales of mystery (with a touch of goth-froth) for 9 year olds from bestselling author, Marcus Sedgwick. With quirky black and white line illustrations from new talent, Pete Williamson.

Dedicated website on Raven Mysteries: www.ravenmysteries.co.uk

Reviews

The pictures and lovely production values are another clue to the appeal within these covers, and on the whole this bears the mark of distinction I expected when I saw this author had started a series for a younger audience. I am a bit of a fan of his, and with six of these books to eventually choose from (this is number three) - if anything like this quality - they will set him up with a fanbase to last well into the future. THE BOOKBAG Castle Otherhand is a murky, shadowy place at the best of times, but it's got even scarier with the arrival of a horrible school master. Solstice and her brother Cudweed are trying their best to come out winning - and they are lucky they've got the bird Edgar on their side! ...Once you've met them, you will want to finish the book to find out what happens to them! Scary at times, but with a great plot, I recommend this book to other children over the age of eight. -- Sebastian age 9 FIRST NEWS As told by a raven, this Gothic horror richly laced in humour is a delicious read, especially when the moon is full! Castle Otherhand is beset by problems. There are the usual ones of money troubles but this time there is a horrible new teacher who smells like a wet dog to contend with and Solstice and Cudweed are at his mercy. Enjoy all the usual - and decidedly unusual - happenings in this richly created world. -- Julia Eccleshare LOVEREADING If you've not yet entered the topsy-turvy world of The Raven Mysteries, then you're missing an absolute treat. Sedgwick's wonderful creation of a rather dysfunctional family is as original as it is weird and kids of 7+ will love the rather oddball humour and quirky characters including Edgar, the Raven who is also the Guardian of Otherland Castle and its secret weapon. LOVEREADING.COM The quality of the writing here is exceptionally high and is equally matched by Pete Williamson's stylish illustrations which perfectly convey the narrative in his evocative, Goreyesque black and white line drawing. High production values make this a wonderfully collectable book and a great addition to the series. BOOKS FOR KEEPS

About the Author

Marcus Sedgwick

One of the World Book Day 2015 Authors Marcus was our Guest Editor in July 2010. Click here to see all his selections.

Marcus began to write seriously in 1994, and his first book, Floodland, was published by Orion in 2000, and won the Branford-Boase award for best debut children's novel. Witch Hill followed in 2001, and was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award.

The Kiss of Death was published in paperback in April 2009, and picked up a thread from his highly acclaimed My Swordhand is Singing (winner of the 2007 Booktrust Teenage Book Award). In between came what Marcus calls “my big one - a project I've been working on for so long my head hurts.” – Blood Red Snow White, which was first published to considerable acclaim in 2007.

2009 saw Marcus turn his attention to books for younger readers with the launch of a humorous new series: The Raven Mysteries, narrated by a grumpy raven, Edgar. Titles are Flood and Fang, Ghosts and Gadgets and Lunatics and Luck. The sixth book in the series, Creepy Caves, will be published in paperback in February 2015.

Marcus Sedgwick won the Branford Boase Award in 2001 with his debut novel, FLOODLAND. In 2007 MY SWORDHAND IS SINGING won the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and in 2011 LUNATICS AND LUCK won a Blue Peter Book Award. Marcus has been shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal six times. Marcus lives in Taninges, France.

In his spare time, he is also a stone carver and wood engraver and illustrates all his novels! Finally Marcus is also a drummer, and at the moment he plays in two bands: visit www.garrett-music.tv, and www.internationalbandofmystery.com to find out more.

Q&A with Marcus Sedgwick

Many of your novels are inspired by history and by myth and legend - have these areas always been a fascination of yours since childhood and if so how did this passion come about?

I love music, both listening to it and playing it (I'm a drummer). A day without music is not a proper day... I also love travel and try to travel as much as I can manage.

It was a single line, the first line in the book in fact. I'd had it for ages but didn't know where I was going to use it until the character of Edgar came along: "I suspect I may have fleas again".

Absolutely, and it was great fun. After writing a few hardcore goth books, it was great to let my hair down with these stories. And it gave me fresh impetus to go back to the next YA novel, Revolver, with renewed determination to be gloomy!

I write at the weekends, and mostly in the study in my loft, but also sometimes I travel to write - eg much of Revolver was written on trips to Sweden.

I started to write as a teenager a bit, but properly when I was in my mid-twenties. It took a few years to think it might actually happen!

The most important thing is to know your market! Who do you think your book is going to be read by? What else is out there that's like it? Are you writing something that will sell?

It varies from book to book but it's not a chore as I love to do research. It's easier than actually writing the things! For Revolver, the research spanned about 16 months, of little trips here and there and lots and lots of reading!

What was your inspiration for Revolver ?

Finding an empty shell casing on the pavement in St Petersburg. It was a long way from there to the finished book but that was the start of it.

What was your favourite book as a teenager?

Without question, the Gormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake.

If you got into Doctor Who’s tardis, where (or when) would you go?
Great question, impossible to answer. So many amazing things to go and see – the building of the pyramids, a Viking boat putting out to sea, Man Utd winning the European Championship in 1968…

Who would you choose to be if you could be a celebrity for the day?

Matt Bellamy on any day with a gig.

If you were invisible for a day what would you do?

I’m invisible most days, so nothing much would change.

1 - I have an embarrassing middle name, but I'm not going to tell you what it is
2 - I am learning Swedish
3 - As well as playing the drums, I play bass guitar
4 - My grandfather invented the hydraulic tipper truck
5 - I have a pet raven called Edgar, though he doesn’t say much, eat much, or indeed, move much. There’s a possibility that he’s stuffed, I guess.
6 - I’m extraordinarily sleepy right now.
7 - I represented England (Juniors) at Fencing.
8 - I totally love football.
9 - I'm allergic to red peppers
10 - I believe there is only one radio or TV station worth listening to: Radio 3.

Author photo © Kate Christer

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Book Info

Format

Hardback
256 pages
Interest Age: From 9 To 11

Author

Marcus Sedgwick
More books by Marcus Sedgwick

Author's Website

www.marcussedgwick.com/

Author's Facebook Latest

Publisher

Orion Children's Books (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co

Publication date

4th March 2010

ISBN

9781842556955

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