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Eloise Williams grew up in south Wales. She now lives in Pembrokeshire, very close to the beach where she walks her dog Watson Jones. She worked in the theatre in wardrobe, then studied Drama. After working for over ten years as an actress, she studied for a Masters in Creative Writing at Swansea University. Her first book for children, Elen's Island, was published in 2015. Gaslight is her second book.
Reading Planet - Beneath the Surface and other Welsh Tales of Mystery - Level 7: Fiction (Saturn) | Beneath the Surface: Tales from Welsh Legend forms one in a series of Rising Stars Reading Planet books retelling traditional tales. In this book, readers encounter the legends of Cantre’r Gwaelod and The Tylwyth Teg through the experiences of two children: Dion and Cariad. Both tales make for compelling reading, with Cantre’e Gwaelod taking the form of an audio account and The Tylwyth Teg being narrated through Cariad’s grandmother’s first-hand experience. Both of these narrative techniques offer the reader opportunities to consider the validity of the stories they experience. In the case of Cantre’e Gwaelod, two versions of the legend are presented within the frame of Dion researching local history for a homework topic. And in The Tylwyth Teg, readers’ first encounter with Cariad’s grandmother suggests she is an unreliable narrator; something that offers scope for discussion as the story unfolds. Both stories are accompanied by full-colour illustrations that support the narratives. A range of comprehension questions asking readers to retrieve key facts, to compare the themes contained in the two stories and offer opinions are provided, which is welcome for teachers looking to develop the comprehension skills required at the end of KS2.
In a nutshell: richly atmospheric mystery set in the dark and dangerous backstreets of Victorian Cardiff | Nansi is fourteen and trying to survive as an orphan in Victorian Wales, Cardiff to be precise. She gets a home and protection of some sort from ‘Pernicious’ Sid, for working at his theatre, and thieving for him on the side. But all certainty in her life vanishes when she discovers that Sid is keeping secrets from her, secrets concerning her own mother. Can Nansi unravel the mystery and find her missing mother? Dark and often scary this is an excellent piece of melodrama for younger readers, setting and characters vividly described. Recommended for fans of Philip Pullman’s Sally Lockhart books, and you could follow up with some Dickens too. ~ Andrea Reece A Piece of Passion from Janet Thomas, Editor, Firefly Press: Eloise’s historical thriller is a gripping adventure, full of thieves, crooked mediums, mudlarks, and a threatening asylum. It is Gothic melodrama at its best, headed by a loveable, believable and hugely brave heroine in Nansi, and it exploits all Eloise Williams’s wonderful storytelling skills to the full. We’re so proud of this novel.
Over more years than you or I can count, people have smiled as they were told tales of drowned cities and shapeshifting creatures. These Welsh legends are just stories, they say. They couldn't possibly be true ... could they? Dion and Cariad are listening to two very different tales unfold. Both are convinced that the incredible events they are hearing about couldn't possibly have occurred in real life. But how will they feel when they are confronted with evidence that suggests fiction is actually fact? Will they believe that what took place in the past might actually happen again? Beneath the Surface: Tales of Welsh Legend is part of the Reading Planet range of books for Stars (Lime) to Supernova (Red+) band. Children aged 7-11 will be inspired to love reading through the gripping stories and fascinating information books created by top authors. Reading Planet books have been carefully levelled to support children in becoming fluent and confident readers. Each book features useful notes and questions to support reading at home and develop comprehension skills. Reading age: 10-11 years
Lark needs a break. Her mother is ill, her sister has stopped speaking and she's fallen out with her best friend. When her family arrives at a caravan site on the windy Welsh coast, she and her little sister rush off to explore. But soon this freedom get frightening. Is there a figure in the fog? What happened at the ruined house in the woods? Why is her sister so fascinated by a girl in a green dress that no one else can see? As the storms get wilder and events get stranger, Lark must face a long-buried secret to try to save her family.
1899. All Nansi knows is that her mother disappeared on the day she was fished out of Cardiff docks. She can't remember anything else. Now, with no other family to turn to, she works for Sid at the Empire Theatre, sometimes legally, sometimes thieving to order, trying to earn enough money to hire a detective to find her mother. Everything changes when Constance and Violet join the theatre, both with their own dark secrets. Nansi is forced to be part of Violet's crooked psychic act. But it's when Constance recognises her, and realises who her mother must be, that Nansi's world is turned upside down forever. She is soon on the run for her life and she will have to risk everything if she's going to find the truth.
When her parents send her to stay with a grandmother she hardly knows for the summer, Elen is furious. Gran lives on a tiny island and doesn't want her either - it's not an easy start. Gran's idea of childcare is to give Elen a map and tell her to explore. Who is the odd boy on the beach with a puffin? After saving Gran in a storm, Elen finds a picture that she's sure is a clue to hidden treasure. She investigates - and finds a very different treasure from the one she expected.
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