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Blue John

Written by Berlie Doherty

Illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis

Part of the Little Gems Series

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Blue John Review

Fantasy / Magical Featured Books for 5+ readers Featured Books for 7+ readers

Interest Age 5-8  Inspired by the Blue John stone found in the hills around her Derbyshire home, Berlie Doherty has created a myth that already feels as if it has been always been in our memories, just waiting to be remembered again. Her Blue John is a magical boy, created from glaciers and the sun, ice-blue and golden, who lives deep underground with his mother, the Queen of Darkness. He’s drawn to the light where he meets a girl, one of a group of children exploring the caverns. They have one golden day together before Blue John must return to his mother. Berlie Doherty takes care over each sentence and this short story, beautifully and simply told, will intrigue and move young readers.  ~ Andrea Reece

With the evocative charm of a fable, Blue John is inspired by the semi-precious mineral found in the caves of Mam Tor by Berlie’s home. Berlie says:  The internationally celebrated violinist Peter Cropper invited me to write a ‘story to music’ for a Christmas children’s concert. I chose the haunting piece by the Czech composer, Smetana, ‘From My Life’. The music made me think of ice and darkness and sunlight, loneliness and joy. I walked over the Mam Tor mountain with the music in my head, and looked down at the caverns, and I knew immediately what I was going to write about. So I invented a character called Blue John, a little boy who is made out of stone …

About the Little Gems series: Little Gems are in a gorgeous new chunky format, with high-spec production including coloured endpapers and jacketed flaps with activities.  Additional features include high quality cream paper, Barrington Stoke font and illustrations on every page.  They are perfect for 5-8's. These quality stories promote good reading practice for all newly independent readers.


Blue John Synopsis

The Queen of Darkness lives deep underground beneath a mountain with her child, Blue John, a boy she made from the blue of the glacier and the hot yellow light of the sun. Blue John is forbidden to leave his mother's side, but the lure of the light above is too strong. When a singing, dancing girl comes to the caves, Blue John must make a choice between darkness and light. A heart-warming story that embraces the beauty and colours of the natural world.

High quality cream paper and a special easy to read font ensure a smooth read for all.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781781125786
Publication date: 01/02/2017
Publisher: Barrington Stoke Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781781125786
Publication date: 1st February 2017
Author: Berlie Doherty
Illustrator: Alexandria Neonakis
Publisher: Barrington Stoke Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 104 pages
Suitable for: 5+ readers, 7+ readers
Genres: Fantasy / Magical
Collections: Little Gems,

About Berlie Doherty

Berlie Doherty is one of the UK’s favourite children’s authors. She has been writing for over twenty years and is published in more than twenty languages. She is a prolific writer of novels, storybooks, picture books, and plays. Berlie lives in Derbyshire. To read a question and answer session with Berlie Doherty please click here.  

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