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Dark Peak

Written by Marcus Sedgwick

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Dark Peak Review

Featured Books for 11+ readers Gritty Reads Thrillers

Atmospheric myth-infused mystery about an unexplained vanishing

Published in partnership with Barrington Stoke, which makes it ideal for less-confident readers, Marcus Sedgwick’s Dark Peak tells a gripping, mysterious tale of two children who go missing during a school trip to a church in the heart of the Peak District.

With a remarkable diversity of novels to his name - from gleefully gothic series for younger readers, to legend-driven Middle Grade fiction, to hugely-acclaimed, richly-layered YA novels - Marcus Sedgwick is an unswervingly elegant storyteller, and that’s certainly true of this highly-readable short novel - it chimes with bell-clear lucidity as it teems with tension.

Set during the scorching summer of 1976, our compelling narrator, Porter Fox, becomes embroiled in a creepy mystery when two children go missing during his school trip to Lud's Church. The question is, “how do thirty-four people walk into one end of a tunnel but only thirty-two walk out of the other end? Because that is what happened”. Stranger still, when one of the vanished is found, the search for still-missing Stephen is called off, and no one speaks of the event: “it was as if a spell had been cast over the whole school, like in a fairy tale.” When Porter and his friend Sam take it upon themselves to dig deeper, they discover the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and other reports that seem to show how “Lud’s Church was a magnet for weirdness”.

In addition to presenting a thoroughly enthralling, edge-on-your-seat thriller, the book includes fascinating background information, suggestions for further reading, topics for discussion, and a quiz.

Joanne Owen

Other Info

Written in partnership with Barrington Stoke and perfect for less-confident readers.

Dark Peak Synopsis

During a long, hot summer, two children, Stephanie and Stephen, go missing while on a school trip to Lud's Church, a deep chasm in the heart of the Peak District. Porter and his friend, Sam, are sent to fetch help. When they return they are surprised to find that although Stephanie has been found, no one is even looking for Stephen anymore. Why can no one remember what's happened him? What happened in the dark of Lud's Church? And why does Porter get the feeling that supernatural forces from deep in the past are at play?

Marcus Sedgwick fuses mythology and mystery to create a compelling tale that is perfect for less-confident readers.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780198494973
Publication date: 01/07/2021
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780198494973
Publication date: 1st July 2021
Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 144 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers
Genres: Gritty Reads, Thrillers

About Marcus Sedgwick

One of the World Book Day 2015 Authors  Marcus was our Guest Editor in July 2010. Click here to see all his selections. Marcus began to write seriously in 1994, and his first book, Floodland, was published by Orion in 2000, and won the Branford-Boase award for best debut children's novel. Witch Hill followed in 2001, and was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award. The Kiss of Death was published in paperback in April 2009, and picked up a thread from his highly acclaimed My Swordhand is Singing (winner of the 2007 Booktrust Teenage Book Award). In between came what Marcus calls “my big ...

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