Marooned in Manhattan by Sheila Agnew

Marooned in Manhattan

Written by Sheila Agnew
Part of the Evie Brooks Series

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

What a great way for a 10+ year old to discover New York City. Join Evie Brooks through her ups and downs of a summer in the Big Apple. Speckled with humour throughout it is also an incredibly moving story and a real page-turner.

After Evie Brooks' mother dies, she is forced to move to New York to live with her uncle Scott. Never owned a pet more substantial than a goldfish, Evie is intrigued by Scott's NYC veterinary practice, and before long, Evie is working as an assistant in the clinic. Between the pets, their owners, Scott and his lawyer girlfriend, the Summer quickly becomes a whirlwind of change and activity! And then Evie has to make a huge choice: will she stay in New York, or return to live in Ireland with her godmother, Janet?


Marooned in Manhattan by Sheila Agnew

'Welcome to America' he said, and stamped my passport. New York is a real eye-opener to twelve-year-old Evie: the crowds, the buildings, all the different languages on the subway, Central Park where she rescues a snapping turtle, the fireman's pole in Uncle Scott's apartment. At first, Evie hadn't wanted to go to the US at all, but it had been her mother's last wish, so she agreed. But she was determined to come home to Ireland once summer was over. Now she is helping Scott in his veterinary practice, meeting pot-bellied pigs, pygmy goats and all manner of pampered pooches and their besotted owners. She makes friends and begins to fall in love with the Big Apple. But is she a burden to Scott, as Leela, his celeb-mad, divorce lawyer girlfriend says? The scheming Leela is keen to see Evie go and has a few tricks up her sleeve to make sure she does. A dramatic showdown with Leela brings everything to a head.


'A dream of a book - Ireland, New York, dogs, cute boys and a wonderfully feisty main character - what's not to like?......A funny, sweet and moving story. Evie is a wonderful character and I can’t wait to read more' Sarah Webb, author of the Ask Amy Green series.

About the Author

Sheila Agnew

Sheila Agnew was born in New York and grew up in Dublin with her sister and two brothers. They liked to pretend to be the children in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

Sheila has wanted to be a writer since she was seven and fell in love with Danny, the Champion of the World. In 2002, she took time-out from her legal career to write and to travel around Asia. In 2011, she moved to Argentina to learn Spanish and work on a horse farm. The following year, she relocated to Dingle in County Kerry where she wrote Evie Brooks. Sheila based the character of ‘Ben’ on her own black-and-white spaniel of dubious lineage.

A Q&A with Shelia

1. Where did the idea for ‘Evie Brooks’ come from?
In my bedroom, I had an old, art deco vanity desk that I bought at a fire sale from a Broadway theatre. Generations of actors had sat where I now sat, preparing themselves for the thrill and fear of the stage. One February night, as a blizzard raged, I sat at my desk, blow-drying my hair. Evie’s story kind of leaped out at me from the mirror. I started writing. I enjoy the idea that my desk is a humble relation to the wardrobe that opens into Narnia; maybe they were made from trees in the same forest. But I think it’s much more likely that I was too lazy to finish drying my hair!

2. If you could go back and visit yourself at Evie’s age what advice would you give her?
You might want to rethink your blue eyeliner phase. I’m serious! But also, try not to overthink too many things. To rehash advice from a much wiser woman, the author, Iris Murdoch, “much of what seems important is less important than whether it is raining in Patagonia.”

3. What are you working on next?
I want to get moving on the third book in the Evie Brooks series. She’s got travel plans.

4. What are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure, a biography written by Artemis Cooper. I am fanatical about classic travel literature and Patrick Leigh Fermor’s A Time of Gifts is one of the best of its kind. In the children/young adult genre, I recently finished Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Loved it! Weird, smart and funny: that’s a difficult combination to beat.

5. You really like to travel and have been to a lot of places! What’s your favourite place that you’ve visited so far?

I was at a retreat for writers and artists in France last year, writing my young adult novel, Before, We Were Aliens. A new friend asked me, “If you could be doing anything in the world right now, what would it be?” I said, “This.” So I’ve been very lucky. I had my wish.

7. What books did you read as a child?
I loved all the usual suspects like the Chronicles of Narnia and the Roald Dahl books. I didn’t want to live in a royal castle. I wanted to live in the caravan with Danny, the Champion of the World, and his Dad. Although I love stories with humour in them, the book that had the strongest impact on me didn’t have any humour in it at all. It was I am David by Anne Holm.

8. Which author do you most admire?
That’s a tough one because I would feel like a traitor to pick out any one author. But the writing I admire most is Winston Churchill’s trilogy of speeches of May and June, 1940; We shall fight on the Beaches, Blood, toil, tears, and sweat, and the This was their finest hour speech. At a time when Britain stood alone against the Nazis, one man used his pen to make a difference in the fate of a nation and the world. Writing doesn’t come more powerful than that. I’ve read the speeches so often that most of the words are seared in my brain. When I’m in a down and out and stuck place, I read them in my mind and they usually offer me comfort and perspective and a feeling of awe.

9. What is your favourite word and why?
My favourite words are thank you. It’s impossible to overuse those words so long as you mean them.

10. What are you proudest of?
As a child, I formed a tight bond with my sister and my two brothers. Although we lead very different lives in different countries, it’s the kind of bond that can laugh in the face of a storm and never be broken. I’m proud of the four of us for that and of my parents too for all that they are and for all that they have given me.

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Book Info


224 pages
Interest Age: From 10 years


Sheila Agnew
More books by Sheila Agnew


O'Brien Press Ltd

Publication date

3rd March 2014




Publisher Profile

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


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.

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