The Witching Hour by Elizabeth Laird

The Witching Hour

Written by Elizabeth Laird

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Shortlisted for the Scottish Book Award 2010.

Vivid and thrilling, The Witching Hour is a finely crafted historical novel, packed full of the important details which bring the past to life. At its heart is the story of strong spirited Maggie whose life is put in danger when her granny is accused of witchcraft. Alone and at risk, Maggie sets out on a journey to the safe haven of her only relatives. With her God-fearing relatives Maggie finds a more comfortable home but the threat from religious zeal is close at hand. Courageous Maggie has to stand up for what matters most to her – despite danger. Elizabeth Laird has a rare ability to make the past come alive.


The Witching Hour by Elizabeth Laird

Everyone knows the devil is real. Everyone knows that witches exist. Everyone knows that saying the wrong thing can get you hanged. When fourteen-year-old Maggie's grandmother is accused of witchcraft, Maggie has to run for her life. But Scotland is in the grip of terror and Maggie runs straight into danger, falling into the hands of the English. Defying the king can be deadly, but falling in line is unthinkable. Maggie must learn to stand up for herself if she is to survive.

About the Author

Elizabeth Laird

ELIZABETH LAIRD was born in New Zealand of Scottish parents. On leaving university, she lived and taught for some time in Addis Ababa, where she fell in love with Ethiopia’s stunning landscapes and brace, enduring people. Since her first trip to the country in her early twenties, Liz has travelled extensively all over Ethiopia (and indeed the world), and everywhere she went she saw boys and girls running. Running to school, running to work. They ran and ran. In every young heart the ambition to win gold for their country was beating. These young runners with their huge dreams have stayed with Liz and inspired the story of The Fastest Boy in the World.

In between her travels in Ethiopia, Malaysia and India, Liz also lived for some time in Lebanon, Iraq and Austria with her husband and two sons. After leaving Austria she and her husband decided to earn their living as writers, settling in London: since then, she has written over 30 books for children, has been shortlisted five times for the CILIP Carnegie Medal as well as every other major children’s book award. Liz now lives with her husband, splitting their time between London and Edinburgh.

Elizabeth Laird's books have been translated into 15 languages.

Photo: © Anne Mortensen

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Elizabeth Laird
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Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan

Publication date

2nd April 2010




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