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Written by Eve Ainsworth

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Magpie Review

Family / Home Stories Featured Books for 13+ readers Featured Books for Young Adults Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE) Romance / Relationship Stories School Stories

Hope, healing and newfound homeliness after fleeing coercion and violence

From the author of Just Another Lie, Eve Ainsworth’s Magpie is an honest, poignant story of a family who flee a mother’s abusive partner, all told through the eyes of Alice, a heroine whose experiences and outlook touch the heart and soul. Her wish “to be able to fly… to be truly free” and “never feel trapped again” will have readers truly rooting for her from tense opening to hopeful conclusion.


New home, new school, new start - all good. But old fears resurface when Alice spots a hooded figure skulking near her new house and she’s terrified her mum’s abusive partner, Ross, has tracked them down. This was supposed to be them embarking on a new life, away from his violent, manipulative behaviour, away from her mum looking “defeated, like a mouse that had just been caught by a cat.” Despite Alice’s efforts to shrug off her apprehension, the fear lingers and she’s worried Mum has done what she always ends up doing - giving in to Ross. At least she has a couple of great friends for support, though - football ace Alfie and arty Ben. They make an unlikely bunch (as the best friendship groups often do), but they’re close as anything, and will do anything for each other.


Written with clarity and heart, I was moved and gripped as Alice discovers the truth of the skulking stranger, all the while navigating the nasty girls at school who mock her unfashionable clothes, worrying about Mum, and feeling the thrill of first love and new connections.

Joanne Owen

Magpie Synopsis

It has been a long time since Alice has felt safe. Because of him. Ross. But now she, Mum and her little brother Henry have finally moved far away, where Ross will never find them.

It's a fresh start, Mum says. This time, she is never going back.

Slowly Alice starts to build a life for herself, at a new school with new friends. But she can't escape the feeling she is being watched. That he might be lurking, waiting to ruin everything again. That Mum might be about to break her promise. That, just when Alice is starting to feel safe, everything will be taken away from her.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781407185453
Publication date: 04/02/2021
Publisher: Scholastic
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781407185453
Publication date: 4th February 2021
Author: Eve Ainsworth
Publisher: Scholastic
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 240 pages
Suitable for: 13+ readers, YA readers
Genres: Family / Home Stories, Personal Social Health Economic , Romance / Relationship Stories, School Stories

About Eve Ainsworth

Eve Ainsworth is a public speaker, creative workshop coordinator and award-winning author who draws from her extensive work with teenagers managing emotional and behavioural issues to write authentic, honest and real novels for young people. Eve lives in West Sussex with her husband and two children. Click here to read more about why Eve wrote Lost.

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