January 2018 Book of the Month
A prizewinning story idea from Neal Jackson gave birth to this wonderful tale of adventure, spies and man’s attempt to be the first aeronaut. Emma Carroll has a wonderful ability to capture a particular time in history and make it accessible to her young readers. Beautifully written and perfectly capturing 18th century France Sky Chasers, follows Magpie, a young girl destined to stand out. Her dark skin sets her apart but Magpie is an expert at performing the unseen as she excels as a petty criminal. She steals from those who can afford to lose a little to feed herself and her cockeral Coco.
Set during the reign of King Louis and Marie Antoinette, when France is racing against its enemy England, to be the first to fly in a hot air balloon. This wonderful reimagining of real life events is full of adventure, peril and excitement. Emma has created a daring, courageous character in Magpie, a girl who doesn’t quite fit but despite her differences has a strong sense of loyalty and a desire (despite her criminal background) to do what’s right. She is a fantastic character and one that stands out as a strong willed, intelligent girl with a fierce determination to follow her own heart to achieve her dreams no matter what conventions try to hold her back. She proves to be a fierce and brave friend.
Sky Chasers is dedicated to "all those names that don’t make the history books", and testament to all the unsung heroes out there and is yet another fantastic offering from this superb children’s author. ~ Shelley Fallows - You can also find Shelley here.
From a prize-winning idea by Neal Jackson, Winner of the Big Idea Competition, chosen as unanimous
winner by the judges: Tess Daly, Neil Blair, Barry Cunningham, Philip Ardagh and theatre producer Sonia Friedman.