Plague A Cross on the Door by Ann Turnbull

Plague A Cross on the Door

Written by Ann Turnbull
Illustrated by Akbar Ali
Part of the National Archives Series


Plague A Cross on the Door by Ann Turnbull

In sixteen hundred and sixty-five there was hardly anyone left alive. Spring 1665, London Sam was just a young boy when his master took him out of the orphanage to be his servant. When he was old enough, he was going to become his master's apprentice, a shoemaker, able to make his own way in the world. But that was before the plague arrived. Abandoned by Alice, his master's maid and the closet thing that Sam's ever had to a mother, Sam finds himself nailed into his workshop home with only his dying master and pet dog Budge for company. The officials call it 'quarantine'. But for Sam it's a death sentence. Can Sam escape? And even if he does, will he be able to survive on London's ravaged streets?


The atmosphere of the plague-ridden city is expertly captured. Irish Examiner Ann Turnbull's lovely prose overcomes them to make an engaging story in just a few words - a real art. The story zips along and I found it engrossing. The Historical Novel Society The books contain enough tension to grip the reader and keep the stories flowing and the atmosphere of Stuart London is excellently evoked. The author tackles this potentially disturbing story with balance and sensitivity, protecting readers into the experience rather than hiding them entirely from it. -- Tim Taylor Primary Teacher Update

About the Author

Ann Turnbull

I was born in Hertford, England and brought up in Bexleyheath, which was then in Kent but is now part of Greater London. I have always loved books; my childhood favourites were the Narnia stories by C S Lewis and Kipling’s Jungle Books. By the age of ten I had decided I wanted to be a writer. Paper always seemed to be scarce in those days, but I used to write stories on the unused pages left in old school exercise books, or even on the backs of opened-out envelopes. In my early teens two things happened that helped me to feel like a real writer: my parents bought me my first typewriter – a second-hand Underwood - and I went in for a short story competition and won a place at the Writers’ Summer School at Swanwick in Derbyshire.

After leaving school I worked as a secretary for many years. Later I began training as a teacher, but decided teaching was not for me. However I read children’s novels as part of my course and was inspired to try writing one myself. My first novel was published in 1974, and since then I have written thirty books for children and young people of all ages.

My hobbies are reading, dancing, singing, and walking in the countryside. I am married, with two grown-up children, and now live in Shropshire.

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Book Info


80 pages


Ann Turnbull
More books by Ann Turnbull

Author's Website


A & C Black Publishers Ltd an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Publication date

1st April 2013



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