Shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards, Children's Book category, 2016 - May 2016 Book of the Month Francesca Simon has chosen a singular heroine for her first novel for teenagers. Hel is Queen of the Norse underworld, but never has the eternal teenage cry, ‘It’s not fair’ been more justified. Offspring of giants and gods, she is despised by all; human to the waist, she’s a ‘corpse baby’ - her legs are dangling and gangrenous at birth. Despatched to the Underworld, harbinger of Asgard’s downfall, she nonetheless retains her sharp tongue, her cynicism, her sense of humour and that’s what makes the book so interesting: who wouldn’t want to spend time in this teenager’s company as she works out how to make the best of her situation, unwisely falls in love and reluctantly accepts her fate. It’s an extraordinary novel, dark and grim, but Hel’s energy and vitality will keep readers on her side. ~ Andrea Reece
The Costa Judges said: “An ancient anti-heroine is given a fierce modern voice in this story of gods, monsters and growing up.”
A stunning, operatic, epic drama, like no other. Meet Hel, an ordinary teenager - and goddess of the Underworld. Why is life so unfair? Hel tries to make the best of it, creating gleaming halls in her dark kingdom and welcoming the dead who she is forced to host for eternity. Until eternity itself is threatened. Francesca's first and wonderful foray into teen.
Kids love to read and so in addition to the review by one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. Click here to read their full reviews.
|Publication date:||5th May 2016|
|Publisher:||Faber & Faber|
|Suitable for:||11+ readers, 13+ readers|
|Genres:||Fantasy / Magical, Humorous|
|Recommendations:||Books of the Month, eBooks|
|Other Categories:||Reviewed by Children|
Francesca Simon was born in St Louis, Missouri, grew up in California, and attended both Yale and Oxford Universities, where she specialised in Medieval Studies. She worked as a freelance journalist, writing for the Sunday Times, Guardian, Mail on Sunday, Telegraph, and Vogue (US) and after her son Joshua was born in 1989, she started writing children’s books full time. One of the UK’s best-selling children’s writers, Francesca has published over 50 books, including the immensely popular HORRID HENRY series, which has now sold over fifteen milllion copies.Francesca won the Children’s Book of ...More About Francesca Simon