Missing Ellen by Natasha Mac a'Bhaird
  

Missing Ellen

Written by Natasha Mac a'Bhaird

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

October 2013 Mega Debut of the Month In a poignant and thought-provoking debut novel about friendship and loss, Natasha Mac a’Bháird captures the roller-coaster emotions that engulf Maggie after her best friend Ellen is gone. Maggie tells her story partly as letters to Ellen and partly as a touching record of all the years of their friendship. As Maggie charts Ellen’s story, especially in the years when unhappiness grips her after her father leaves home, she increasingly realises that Ellen was getting dangerously out of control – especially in her choice of friends. Wracked with guilt, Maggie feels that she ought to have stopped her. But, as she tells her story, she begins to understand that Ellen was determined to follow her own path and there was nothing that Maggie could do to change that.

Synopsis

Missing Ellen by Natasha Mac a'Bhaird

'Sometimes it feels like I'm the one who's missing, like I'm not really present in my own life any more - I'm like a ghost or something, wandering through school or home or town looking on at everything that's happening and not really a part of it at all.' Ellen and Maggie have been best friends for as long as they can remember - sharing clothes, passions and secrets. When Ellen goes missing, Maggie feels completely alone. Looking back over the upheaval that led to Ellen's disappearance, Maggie tries to make sense of her friend's actions. At school and at home, she feels no one understands what she is going through - except maybe Liam, the boy next door who has always had feelings for Ellen. How will Maggie cope without her best friend? And where on earth is Ellen?

Reviews

‘A tense and tender portrayal of friendship and loss … beautifully written and completely addictive.’ Laura Jane Cassidy, author of Angel Kiss and Eighteen Kisses

'Missing Ellen is a beautifully-crafted novel about love, friendship and everything in between. If you´re looking for a gripping story, look no further: Go and find out what happened to Ellen.’ Michelle Gyo, Editor, Random House Germany

deftly captures the spirit of early adolescence in a book that will appeal to anyone who has ever had a friend that meant the world to them -- yellowbrickreads.com

the author covers the terrain of adolescent emotion with great sensitivity and insight -- the central friendship is believably fraught with tension and affection, jealousy and admiration -- yellowbrickreads.com

a sharp and poignant book about friendship, growing up and loss -- beautifully and sweetly told -- excellent debut leaving readers waiting for more - teachermoloneyking.com

a beautifully crafted book for teens and pre-teens -- the best letters to loved ones book since Love, Aubrey -- an amazingly touching story -- written in a simple, easy to understand style -- a must read -- writing.ie

such a great read -- my only complaint is that it was actually too short! -- the character of Ellen is so well executed -- this book will speak volumes to you about friendships between girls -- I look forward to the next book from this author -- inkandpaperhearts.wordpress.com

a compelling first teen novel -- Evening Echo

About the Author

Natasha Mac a'Bhaird

Natasha Mac a'Bhaird is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of the bestselling wedding planning book, The Irish Bride's Survival Guide, a new edition of which was published in 2011. Her first children's book, Olanna's Big Day, was published in 2009. Olanna's Big Day was included in the White Ravens Collection 2010 and was shortlisted for the Reading Association of Ireland Award 2011. Natasha has written articles for the Evening Herald, Irish Examiner and Image magazine and is a regular book reviewer with Inis - Children's Books Ireland magazine and Book Fest.

Missing Ellen is her first book for older readers.

Q&A with Natasha Mac a’Bháird

Q. Did you ever go to a Drama Club?
A. I did speech and drama lessons which I loved. I was never in a club like Star Club, but I did have great fun putting on shows with my sister and brothers.

Q. Singing, dancing, acting – if you could only do one, which would it be?
A. Definitely acting! If I wasn’t a writer I would have loved to be an actress.

Q. What’s your favourite movie?
A. I think it would have to be The Sound of Music, it’s got so many of the things I love – the pre-war setting, family relationships, songs and dancing, and of course romance.

Q. Favourite song?
A. Anything by ABBA!

Q. Favourite book?
A. It’s incredibly difficult to pick one, but since you’re making me, I’ll go for Tom’s Midnight Garden by Phillippa Pearce. I’ve read it dozens of times and it still makes me cry.

Q. If you could meet any famous ‘star’, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. I would love to meet J.K. Rowling. I would probably be too starstruck to say anything at all, but if I was able to speak, I’d just tell her how much I love her books.

Q. When did you start writing?
A. The first story I remember writing was when I was eight. I always loved writing stories as a child and wrote my first full-length book when I was twelve. Of course it was never published, but I think I still have it in a drawer somewhere!

Q. Do you have any advice for young writers?
A. Read as much as you can, and as many different types of books as you can! And write as much as you can too, whether that’s writing fiction, factual pieces or just writing in your diary – it all helps you develop those writing muscles!
Q. And finally, any advice for those who are too shy to step into the spotlight?
A. First of all remember that there’s nothing wrong with being shy. I was a very shy child and I found drama was a great way to come out of my shell a bit. It helps you develop confidence. So don’t be scared, don’t let your shyness stop you from making the most of opportunities – grab your courage with both hands and enjoy the moment!

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Book Info

Format

Paperback
176 pages
Interest Age: From 12

Author

Natasha Mac a'Bhaird
More books by Natasha Mac a'Bhaird

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Publisher

O'Brien Press Ltd

Publication date

7th October 2013

ISBN

9781847173539

Categories

Publisher Profile

O'Brien Press Ltd is an imprint of O'Brien

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The O'Brien Press is Ireland's leading general publisher of both adult and children's books. Our list covers a huge range, including biography, humour, photography, history, art, fiction, politics, cookery, sport, music, memoir, true crime and travel and we are constantly expanding into new and exciting areas.

Publisher's Website

www.obrien.ie


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