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Rebecca Lisle was born in Leeds to two artists. Having studied Botany at Newcastle University she then completed a PGCE at Oxford. Rebecca lived in France, Manhattan, and England before becoming a 'proper' writer. Awarded a distinction for her MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa, Rebecca is now married with three almost grown-up sons, who are the inspiration for many stories. When she is not writing Rebecca paints peculiar pictures of dogs.
Orphans and magic have proved to be a dynamic combination! Sparrow is an orphan whose time at the orphanage is now up. On leaving, she has only one thing to guide her forward to this new phase in her life: the name of the town on her baby shawl. Sparrow sets out boldly in search of safety, finding comfort in the company of other girls led by Miss Minter. But, in a world of spitfyres and the gloriously glowing brightling, there’s mystery and magic afoot and Miss Minter is at the heart of it. Rebecca Lisle is also the author of The Spin which is one of our Books of the Year 2013 and was reviewed by our Lovereading Review Panel. Download the first chapter of The Spin and see what our readers thought of it!
One of our Books of the Year 2013 - January 2013 Book of the Month A magical and action packed adventure in a cleverly created other world packed full of delightful characters. Orphaned Stormy works at the lowest level in the castle kitchens but he has dreams and aspirations – especially when it comes to the spitfyres, wonderful winged horses, and the sky-riders who career across the skies on them. When Stormy gets his chance to go and work in the Academy, he feels his dreams and hope will come true. Instead, he finds himself facing a dark and destructive power that lies at the heart of the Academy. A Piece of Passion from the Publisher of The Spin, Emily Thomas The minute you open a book by Rebecca Lisle and start the first chapter you know you're in very good hands. Action, plot and characters are all perfectly in place, and brilliantly delivered in what I call a 'contemporary classic' style. In The Spin, rich drama and emotional intelligence combine with a plucky and erstwhile central character in the courageous Stormy – whose rise from lowly kitchen boy to triumphant sky rider is a joy to observe! The Spin is a compelling, beautifully written magical fantasy, it is also charmingly funny, a bit of a tearjerker, and pleasingly yet not in the least derivatively an enchanting take on Charles Dickens's Great Expectations. _____________________________________________________ In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Spin a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Scroll down to read them. Here’s a taster from one of the reviews. “This novel made me feel joyful, upset, hurt, devastated and all because I felt like I was in the story" Scroll down to read the rest of this review and all the reader reviews.
This entertaining and enormously funny story tells how a modern day Cinderella may find her Prince Charming. When the Royal Palace holds a competition to find a perfect princess, farm girl Molly seizes her chance. Luckily, she has long blonde hear and has managed to get hold of some suitable clothes but will she pass all the tests of a princess? Can she detect the pea under the mattress? And how will she manage the spinning wheel? Molly is a resourceful girl and does find her way through to the final moment of selection. But does she really want Prince Charming anyway? Molly’s predicament is fun as well as raising important issues about the value of fame and wealth.
Reuben must run for his life when his grandmother is hanged as a witch. He too has the toad shaped birthmark which marks him out as a sorcerer and he knows his life will be in danger if anyone finds out. How Reuben fares during his flight and is full of fast paced twists and turns with Reuben showing courage and fortitude as he finds his way towards a happy ending.
Ruby wants a pet. She thinks it's very unfair that her older sister Jane is allowed a kitten for her birthday, especially when Jane refuses to let Ruby play with the kitten. So when she finds a very friendly-looking stone, she decides to adopt him as her pet. Jane thinks Ruby is being silly, but Ruby is pleased to discover that her new pet has some appealing characteristics - and she doesn't have to clean up any messes like Jane does! When the girls enter their pets in the school fete pet competition, there is a very surprising result.
An orphan boy's triumph over adversity, with help from a fire-breathing, winged horse Stormy is an orphan and a kitchen skivvy. He tends the compost, he scrubs the floors, and watches feasts make their way up the mountain as he survives on bread and water. A skivvy is all that Stormy can hope to be. But Stormy has a secret. He wants to be a sky-rider, to soar amongst the clouds on spitfyres: flying horses that spit fire and smoke, and answer only to their riders. A chance meeting with an escaped convict turns Stormy's life upside down. Sent up to the Academy he uncovers a web of lies, deceits and neglect, at the centre of which lies the mysterious thirteenth horse. Can Stormy save Thirteen, defeat the dark forces at work within the Academy and prove himself worthy as a sky-rider?
Crystal is unusual; she has silvery blonde hair and blue eyes. There isn't anyone like her in the Town except for her mum and everyone says her mum is either crazy - or a witch. Crystal knows that the Town leader has something to do with her mother's madness but how can she prove it? And how can she stop him when the Town Guard tramps the streets day and night, there's a curfew, and a strange creature in their house spies on them and records their every move? When Crystal thinks she glimpses someone looking up at her from the depths of Lop Lake, she is amazed but strangely hopeful. Could this be the help she's been waiting for?
If only Clinky Monkey, the black and white dog, could speak - he'd tell everyone about the garden gnome that's creeping round the house. But he can't. It's not until they catch the gnome sneaking right into Laurie's bedroom that the three brothers find out about the amazing Great Gnome Robbery masterminded by tiny Mr Gribble, the strange man hiding next door. The boys devise a cunning plan to foil Gribble's plot and using clever disguises they uncover some strange secrets as they solve the mystery of THE GNOME WITH THE KNOBBLY KNEES.
Molly the farm girl has always dreamed of being a princess, wearing gorgeous clothes and having a Princely husband. So when the Royal Palace holds a competition to find A PERFECT PRINCESS, Molly enters it. Molly looks the part with her knee-length hair and fine new clothes but can she pass the princess tests? The pea in the mattress, the awful mother-in-law, the dangerous spinning wheel! Using her common sense she finds herself through to the final six princesses and gets her chance to dance with Prince Percy Percival. But is Prince Percival really the man of her dreams? Or is it blue-eyed Stan the blacksmith she's left behind at the farm?
Wee Willie has been incarcerated in the magic disappearing box by his wicked uncle, but never fear! Joe, Laurie and Theo gallop to the rescue, resolving the half-cast spell, and rescuing Willie. A new adventure for the three heroes of The Dog in the Diamond Collar , in which their investigative powers and their courage are once more used to great effect!
Amy jumps at the chance to leave her gloomy aunt and uncle and go to the mountains. But once there, she finds that she must to go to stay with the alien clan, the Wood People, and betray them. Worse still, when she meets the Woods she likes them, and her traitorous position there makes her more and more uncomfortable. A mysterious stranger turns up at the house, and kidnaps their beloved wolf cub. Amy is soon engaged in the chase through the winter landscape to a final showdown.
When a rich little boy disappears from his luxurious home, his parent and neighbours are frantic with worry. But three local children get special help from his dog, and follow a series of unexpected clues to find him in a most unlikely spot!
The year is 1682. A time of watchfulness and distrust. When Reuben's grandmother is accused of witchcraft and hanged he knows he must get away before he becomes the next victim of suspicion. Reuben leaves the safety of his village. On the road Reuben is picked up by the strange Doctor Flyte and his slow-witted assistant, Baggs. The pair seem to offer help and friendship, but in return, Reuben must take part in Flyte's sinister medical show. Is the smooth-mannered Flyte all he seems? What is the truth about Baggs's history? Reuben finds himself involved in a terrifying plot that in the end threatens his own life....
This is a modern version of the fairy tale about the Princess who kisses a frog, and he turns into a Prince - although in this retelling, she kisses a toad, and he doesn't turn into a Prince immediately. Oh no. He just falls in love with her generous spirit, and then has to get a wizard to perform the transformation. Very luckily he is friendly with the Court Magician's shaggy dog, and between them they manage to manipulate the wizard's magic for their own ends. The toad makes an incredibly ugly Prince (all protruding eyes, and prehensile tongue, not to mention an abiding delight in eating flies). How amazing that the Princess is just like him! They could have been made for each other!
While his mum recovers from cancer, Joe (and Bingo - the only psychic dog in England) stays with cousin Molly and her dad at the scientific research institute in the countryside. Early one morning, Joe hears a strange wailing sound - like an animal in distress. Molly hears it, too, and they trace it to the disused swimming pool at the back of the institute. However, there are no animals: the scientists are meant to be researching plants. Then Molly and Joe make an amazing discovery: a creature which is part-plant and part-animal. The Planimal can photosynthesise and make its own food. It's a mind-blowing discovery with huge implications for the scientific world. Some people, however, want to use the Planimal for their own selfish ends. Who are they, what do they want, and can Molly and Joe defeat them - and set the Planimal free?
On Copper Beech's 10th birthday her aunt suddenly sends her away to the Snowy Mountains to stay with family she had never known she had. In a bleak landscape of ice and snow, wood and stone, Copper finds herself battling against strange forces trying to destroy her. The fearsome Granite, king of the rock mountain, holds the key to all the mysteries, but he would rather lock her up in his dank prison than explain. Even the rest of the family living in the Beech house are not telling her all they know. She finds that for her own safety she must attempt to establish what has happened to her parents, who have both disappeared, and may not have died as she had previously supposed.
Sent to stay with unknown relatives while her parents are abroad, Polly is delighted to discover that 'The Shrubbery' turns out to be the most wonderful house, with an even more wonderful garden. It's no surprise to Polly that such an enormous garden, full of rare and beautiful plants, needs a full-time gardener to look after it. But Miss Gargoyle doesn't look - or act - like a real gardener at all. And what on earth can have happened to Polly's two uncles, who have been missing for days? With the help of her cousin Harry, Polly sets out to keep a close eye on Miss Gargoyle and soon discovers that something very sinister indeed is going on in the Shrubbery garden!