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Barbara Mitchelhill was born in Rochdale and trained as a teacher. While she was teaching, she began writing for BBC children's TV and went on to write for educational publishers, before writing novels for children. She makes school visits all over the country, and enjoys appearing at literary festivals and talking to teachers and librarians, some as far away as the Caribbean. Her hobbies include reading, theatre, music, gardening and walking her border terrier, Ella. She lives in Staffordshire and has two grown-up daughters and four grandchildren.
June 2019 Book of the Month, A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month June 2019 | The opportunities the suffragette movement offered for bright girls like Daisy, the twelve year old star of this exciting and award-winning story, is brilliantly capture in a book that is full of bustle and energy and danger. Growing up in cramped conditions in the East End of London Daisy’s life is hard. When she’s not at school where she is always in trouble for being too smart, she helps her mum with her younger sister and baby twin brothers. But Daisy has always had dreams of a brighter future: she knows that when she grows up she wants to become a nurse like the great Florence Nightingale. But Daisy is watching her own mother have little chance of doing what she really wants so what chance will she have since she is just a girl? When Daisy meets the suffragettes everything changes. It is scary to think what she would have to give up but Daisy is prepared to do anything to enjoy the new kind of freedom they are offering. Barbara Mitchelhill is skilfully at bringing this important and fascinating moment to life.
Eric’s aunty has a history of finding really unusual presents, and the latest is a stone that can apparently make wishes come true. In the best tradition of stories about things that grant wishes, Eric’s caught out and ends up accidentally wishing for the thing he really wants – a dad. As it slowly dawns on Eric that his headmaster Mr Hodgett, aka The Bodge, is a possible candidate he panics – wouldn’t you? But perhaps the stone knows what it’s doing after all … Barbara Mitchelhill cleverly weaves magic into everyday life and equally skilfully mixes zany humour with touching, real emotions and there’s a great deal of story packed into this little book. Illustrations by Tony Ross are typically lively, Eric and his friends wonderfully loose-limbed and scruffy.
There’s lots of adventure and laughs-a-plenty in this little story, which mixes magic into a tale of everyday school life. Eric is horrified to learn that if he doesn’t do well in a forthcoming test he’ll miss the football County Cup – and he’s the star player. Fortunately, the arrival of a special present from his aunty changes everything – a sweater knitted from Andes sheep wool it’s apparently got magical powers and will boost his brain. And it does – so much in fact that Eric is branded a genius and wins a place in a very different competition, Junior Brain of the Year. If only he can cope with the sweater’s terrible pong long enough to compete … Illustrations by the inimitable Tony Ross add to the fun and this will set all young readers chuckling.
In a nutshell: comic mishaps and triumphs of a schoolboy detective A sign in his local library catches the eye of schoolboy detective Damian Drooth: it offers a weekend at Disneyland Paris for the winners of a ‘mega quiz’. Damian rounds up his gang and sets them to work, first of all to raise the £10 entrance fee, and then to swot up in readiness. He’s understandably furious when the quiz turns out to be a scam, but quickly cheers up at the prospect of tracking down the conman. With echoes of Horrid Henry and Just William, Damian is a terrific character, determined, confident, and totally unfazed by adult disapproval. This series will have children and adults alike chuckling and is perfect for newly independent readers. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: comic mishaps and triumphs of a schoolboy detective Damian Drooth, self-proclaimed boy detective, is off with his mum to Green Park Holiday Village. Mum is standing in for the chef, who’s ill, and Damian can have a holiday – or at least that’s what Mum suggests. Fat chance! As soon as he hears that kids’ bikes are going missing, Damian is on the case and determined to track down the culprit, no matter what. As ever, he causes complete chaos without even really trying, but manages too to apprehend the thief. It’s another funny, satisfying story in an excellent series and is absolutely perfect for newly independent readers. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: comic triumphs and mishaps of a schoolboy detective Schoolboy super-sleuth Damian Drooth is back with a new case: someone is selling forged tickets outside his local football ground and Damian is determined to track down the culprit. He’s ably assisted by his trainees Winston, Tod and Harry and despite their protestations that they don’t need girls to help, Annabelle Harrington-Smythe plays a part too. After a bit of breaking and entering and accidental arson, all works out successfully for Damian. His narrative is action-packed and wonderfully comic and the stories are great fun for children ready to read on their own. With echoes of Horrid Henry and Just William, and illustrations by Tony Ross, these books will definitely be the number one boy detective series in many homes. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: comic triumphs and mishaps of a schoolboy detective Self-proclaimed supersleuth Damian Drooth has a new case: someone’s sprayed graffiti on the toilet walls and the whole school will be punished if the culprit isn’t caught. It’s a particularly difficult case but using all his observational and detecting skills Damian solves it, though only after causing chaos in the DIY store and being accused himself. Damian is a terrific little character, smart, funny, blind to his own faults and a magnet for trouble. Full of illustrations by Tony Ross these stories are super-satisfying for newly independent readers. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: comic triumphs and mishaps of school boy super-sleuth Damian Drooth’s life changes when he comes across a book called A Hundred Ways to Catch a Criminal. Overnight he is transformed from – in his words – ‘bored brat’ and ‘droopy drop-out’ to school boy super-sleuth. His first attempts at crime solving are not entirely successful to put it mildly, but then he gets the chance to lend the police a hand in a real life kidnapping. The mix of perfectly observed ordinary boy behaviour (a la Horrid Henry) and zany far-fetched adventure make these stories hugely satisfying and enjoyable. Packed full of illustrations by Tony Ross they’re great for children happy to read on their own, but read aloud wonderfully too: adults will find much to amuse them in Damian’s wry comments and moments of self-awareness. Great fun! ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: comic triumphs and mishaps of school boy super-sleuth Damian Drooth is a crime-buster extraordinaire, an ace detective; at least he is in his own imagination. Despite what his mother says, he’s determined to find crimes to solve and bones up by studying the detectives described in his favourite comic books. Laughs come in the gaps between what really happens, and what Damian thinks is happening while young readers will completely understand his propensity for getting into trouble or causing chaos. There’s something of Horrid Henry or even Just William about Damian and the story, with its Tony Ross illustrations, ends in triumph for our junior super-sleuth – he actually manages to catch a crook - despite his outrageously bad behaviour. Great fun for children to read on their own and for adults to read out loud. ~ Andrea Reece
Award-winning Barbara Mitchelhill brings Billy’s war-struck childhood vividly to life in this dramatic story of survival. Billy’s dad is away fighting and Billy’s mum thinks that the war will always be far away from their home in South London. As the threat gets close, Billy’s friends are evacuated to safety in the country. But not Billy or his sister Rose. His mum is sure that he will be safe at home. But will they? When the Blitz starts and the bombs begin to fall Billy faces real danger.
Victorian London provides a dramatic backdrop for this dramatic story about a much changed life for Sam, Eliza and Alfie Pargeter. The children have always lived a happy life in the country with their parents but, when their father takes off for America, everything in their lives changes. Suddenly the children are taken to life wit hostile relatives in the most dangerous part of London. How they survive and the journey they take to find a more welcoming relative makes a gripping and moving story.
The world of Shakespeare and his theatre sparkles with life in this fast-paced historical novel. Thomas loves everything about the players and dreams of joining them if he ever has the chance. Having met Mr Shakespeare while studying at school in Stratford, it is to him and London that he runs when he has to flee his home. But behind the glamour and style of the theatre, Thomas finds darker intrigue and danger. A thrilling story full of theatrical flourish.
This thrilling and poignant World War II adventure featuring the story of a young girl and her brother whose father is a pacifist is one of the best war time novels for children to be published in while. Desperate to keep his family together he and the children go on the run together but as the past catches up with him can the father find a place of safety for them all and remain with them?
Eric's mum is getting married - to his teacher! If that wasn't bad enough, Auntie Rose has sent a wedding present from her travels, and its magical properties might make Mum have a new baby. Eric definitely doesn't want that, so he and his best friend Wez decide to open all the presents to find it before Mum does. But the magic gift soon proves more troublesome than Eric could have possibly thought . . .
Daisy's hero is Florence Nightingale, and she hopes to one day become a nurse just like her. But as a girl growing up in the East End of London in 1912, it seems like all her future holds is dropping out of school to work a tough job in a factory for very little money. Then Daisy meets the suffragettes, who are fighting for the rights of women and the poor. They show her that she might be able to achieve her dreams after all. But being a suffragette is dangerous, and Daisy must risk getting in trouble with her dad, neighbours and even the police if she wants to do her bit. Perfect for fans of Opal Plumstead and Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.
Eric's spots are multiplying! It seems his problem might be solved when his Auntie Rose sends Mum some magic face cream from South America. Dare he use it? Eric decides to take the risk and tries out the pimple potion. But he soon discovers there are some very unexpected side effects...
Eric is just no good at tests and schoolwork, and his mum thinks he isn't trying hard enough. His grumpy teacher Mr Hodgetts (AKA the Bodge) decides he needs extra help. Then a mysterious package arrives from Eric's Auntie Rose, containing a small round stone which promises to grant a wish. The wish Eric makes might just change everything . . .
Eric is an ordinary boy who loves football, and hates tests. Unluckily, a big test is coming up! Then his Auntie Rose sends him a very strange present from her travels in South America: an ugly, stinky, stripy jumper with magical powers. It can turn the wearer into a genius, so long as it is never washed. Eric finds the jumper really does have a miraculous effect on his brain power - but can there be too much of a good thing?
Damian Drooth, the one-of-a-kind detective hero, is back. Criminals beware! Damian Drooth decides to help a friendly old man who believes that his precious and hard-won inventions are being ripped off by an unscrupulous neighbour. Naturally the meeting of Young Inventors is a good place to start - and using all his cunning, Damian is out to uncover the bad guy . . . Packed with rib-tickling pictures from Tony Ross, this is perfect for newly confident young readers of 6 and up!
Damian Drooth, the one-of-a-kind detective hero, is back. Criminals beware! Damian is fascinated when the new girl at school says that her grandparents' house is haunted. As the local specialist detective, it is up to Damian to solve the mystery! He agrees to spend a night in the house to see the ghostly figures for himself - but all is not what it seems . . . Packed with rib-tickling pictures from Tony Ross, this is perfect for newly confident young readers of 6 and up!
Damian Drooth, the one-of-a-kind detective hero, is back. Criminals beware! When a neighbour's dog goes missing, Damian and his gang of detective apprentices are called in to help find it. But Damian's ideas - from supergluing 'Missing' posters in the front window of the newsagent's to setting up a decoy dog - don't quite work out. Will Damian be able to sniff out the missing hound? Packed with rib-tickling pictures from Tony Ross, this is perfect for newly confident young readers of 6 and up!
Damian Drooth, the one-of-a-kind detective hero, is back. Criminals beware! Damian thinks it's time to pass on his amazing detective skills. On an outing ot the library to teach his eager trainees how to look for criminals, they hit the jackpot: a suspicious-looking lady who is checking out a book called Loot. But what will happen when the kids try to apprehend their suspect? Packed with rib-tickling pictures from Tony Ross, this is perfect for newly confident young readers of 6 and up!
Damian Drooth, the one-of-a-kind detective hero, is back. Criminals beware! When Damian hears about a Mega Quiz with an amazing prize, he decides to enter with his friends. This means paying an entrance fee . . . But all is not as it seems, and Damian is soon on the trail of a dastardly trickster. Packed with rib-tickling pictures from Tony Ross, this is perfect for newly confident young readers of 6 and up!
Damian Drooth, the one-of-a-kind detective hero, is back. Criminals beware! Damian's amazing detective skills are called on when rich boy Calvin Baggington has his super-expensive bike stolen at the Holiday Village. With a brilliant and cunning plan, Damian hopes to solve the crime in style - but not before the Holiday Village is thrown into chaos! Packed with rib-tickling pictures from Tony Ross, this is perfect for newly confident young readers of 6 and up!
Damian Drooth, the one-of-a-kind detective hero, is back. Criminals beware! Damian has stumbled onto a new case at the local football ground. Someone is selling forged tickets and it's up to our hero to find the culprit. After several false starts, the only evidence is a photo taken by a classmate. Damian realises it's vital to get that photo if he is to solve the crime and kick out the criminal for good. Packed with rib-tickling pictures from Tony Ross, this is perfect for newly confident young readers of 6 and up!
Damian Drooth, the one-of-a-kind detective hero, is back. Criminals beware! Damian Drooth is electrified to hear the Headmaster tell everyone off about graffiti in one of the school toilets. He immediately wants to catch the culprit, but what he isn't expecting is to be accused of the crime himself! Can this brilliant mind clear his name and find the real vandal? Packed with rib-tickling pictures from Tony Ross, this is perfect for newly confident young readers of 6 and up!
Damian Drooth, the one of a kind, clean-up-the world hero, has arrived. Criminals beware - and be very afraid! In his first case, Damian finds himself in the glamorous world of filmmaking. But it turns out to be a den of deceit. Damian needs all his mind-boggling skills to keep himself out of trouble and to rescue Trixibelle, the daughter of a crazy, mega-rich director. Packed with rib-tickling pictures from Tony Ross, this is perfect for newly confident young readers of 6 and up!
Damian Drooth, the one-of-a-kind detective hero, is back. Criminals beware! A superstar singer, Tiger Lilly, is getting married to a footballer. Who better to guard her fabulous wedding pressents than her number one fan, the genius private eye Damian Drooth? Will Damian's amazing brain power and cunning plans be enough to track down some notorious crooks among the wedding guests and win Tiger Lilly's undying admiration? Packed with rib-tickling pictures from Tony Ross, this is perfect for newly confident young readers of 6 and up!
Damian Drooth is an ace detective, although sometimes he leaves the hard work to his friends so he can concentrate on the masterplan. When Damian hears about a Mega Quiz with an amazing prize, he decides to enter with his friends. This means paying an entrance fee ... But all is not as it seems, and Damian is soon on the trail of a dastardly trickster. A comic detective story packed with humour and the much-loved Tony Ross's illustrations.
Winner of the Young Quills Prize for Historical Fiction. When War breaks out, Billy's dad joins the army and most of his friends are evacuated from Balham, South London. But Billy's mum doesn't believe the bombs will ever fall on them and she refuses to send him and his sister Rose away. Life in Balham has certainly changed for Billy: no school, no friends and, because of rationing, no treats. But by September 1940, things are about to get a lot worse. Hitler has a plan for the destruction of London and soon Billy is caught up in the Blitz: an event so terrifying, it will take every ounce of courage for him to survive in war-torn Balham and keep his family together.
Sam Pargeter and his younger brother and sister have always been poor. But, in their tiny house in the country, with Ma and Pa, they were one big happy family. Until Pa goes off to America to seek their fortune and Ma dies. Then the Pargeter children find themselves whisked off to live with a strange aunt and uncle, and are put to work - just like Oliver Twist in their favourite book. But this is only the start of the twists and turns their lives will take. Sam, Eliza and Alfie make their way all over London and then beyond, in search of their only remaining member of family: a rich grandfather they have never known . . .
Thomas is desperate to join 'the players', he'll do anything to watch them perform, even skip school and risk a caning. But when Thomas's rule breaking gets him in trouble with more than just his school master, he has to flee his home and make his way to London. Here he meets his hero, Shakespeare, and his players. But behind the excitement of the theatres is a grimy world of deception, poison and treason. Will Thomas manage to uncover the plot in time? And will he manage to save Shakespeare from a fate worse than death?
When Lizzie's dad refuses to fight in the Second World War, the police come looking to arrest him. Desperate to stay together, Lizzie and her brother Freddie go on the run with him, hiding from the police in idyllic Whiteway. But when their past catches up with them, they're forced to leave and it becomes more and more difficult to stay together as a family. Will they be able to? And will they ever find a place, like Whiteway, where they will be safe again?
Damian Drooth is a super sleuth, a number one detective, a kid with a nose for trouble. And here in this fantastic bumper edition are three of his hilarious stories: The Case of the Disappearing Daughter, How to Be a Detective and The Case of the Popstar's Wedding.
When Dad goes missing, twins Harry and Charlie scour Edinburgh to find him. But why are others determined to stop them? And how is a strange wooden box linked to his disappearance? The twins soon find they are in terrible danger but push themselves to the limits in their attempt to outwit those who are holding their father.
Damian's amazing detective skills are called on when rich boy, Calvin Baggington, has his super-expensive bike stolen at the Green Park Holiday Village. With a brilliant and cunning plan, Damian solves the crime in style - but not before Mum's blood pressure rises to new heights and the Holiday Village is thrown into chaos. Even Inspector Crockitt, hoping for a peaceful week's break, becomes unwillingly and painfully involved.
When a neighbour's dog goes missing, Damian and his gang of detective apprentices are called in to help find it. First they try posters - but for some reason the newsagent is not happy that they have super-glued their hand-drawn posters to his window. Then they try a decoy. And when that doesn't work, they resort to 'rescuing' dogs that have been left on the street, and taking them back to Damian's shed. As angry dog owners bear down on them, very luckily the original missing dog turns up!
Damian Drooth is electrified to hear the Headmaster tell everyone off about graffiti in one of the school toilets. He immediately wants to bring all his powers of detection to bear to find the perpetrator - with his class of willing detective apprentices. What with sorting out a handwriting test, and looking for matching paint, he needs all the help he can get! But even Damian isn't expecting to be accused of the crime himself! Can this phenomenally lucky and outrageously successful investigator extricate himself, and still catch the criminal? Of course he can!
Two girls find themselves alone on a remote Scottish island - with a laboratory of evil scientists who are prepared to play havoc with the weather to gain control. They must escape from the island, and get the evidence back to Edinburgh, before the scientists become unstoppable. It is a mad race across Scotland closely pursued by these villainous scientists.
Damian Drooth has already solved three cases to great acclaim (and uproarious chaos!), and now he is passing on his skills to eager pupils. He has decided to help a friendly old man who thinks that his precious and hard-won inventions are being ripped off by an unscrupulous neighbour. Naturally the meeting of Young Inventors is a good place to start - and using all his old skill, he does uncover the bad guy...
A superstar singer, Tiger Lilly, is gettng married to a footballer. Who better to guard her fabulous wedding pressents than her number one fan, the genius private eye Damian Drooth? Only his mother has serious doubts. But Damian's amazing brain power and cunning plans win through in the end. He tracks down crooks among the wedding guests and wins Tiger Lilly's undying admiration.