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April 2014 Debut of the Month - Winner of The Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition 2013 Set some 17000 years ago where tribes fought tribes and rubbed shoulders with sabre-tooth cats and mammoths, there was danger at every turn, yet this is a terrifically compelling adventure story starring a 13 year old boy called Wild Horse and a girl from another tribe who doesn't want to be found. Wild Horse wants to prove hiself to his tribe and he sees this as his chance to show off his skill and bravery. Fighting with spear, tooth and claw to survive, can he live to tell the tale? Fans of Michelle Paver's Chronicles of Ancient Darkness which began with Wolf Brother, will devour Wendy Constance's brilliant and award-winning debut novel, almost in a sitting.
On announcing The Times/Chicken House competition winner, The Times said Wendy E. Constance, this year's winner, still can't quite believe her triumph. "I keep pinching myself," she laughs. "I've gone from 'ordinary Wendy' to extraordinary Wendy' overnight."
The Times/Chicken House prize for an unpublished new children's author is unique in that each year it picks raw talent from about 1,000 submissions, and then works with the five shortlisted authors. It has a stellar track record. Sophia Bennett's 2009 winner Threads is being developed as a series by Nickleodeon; Janet Foxley's Muncle Trogg is going to be a film from Sony Pictures Animation; last years winner, Fletcher Moss, has had The Poison Boy sold pre-publication to the US, Germany and Holland. All six previous winners have seen their work transformed. Now Constance, and her novel Brave, will have their chance.
You can download the entire article here - please note the book title was changed to Brave from the original name, Like a Brother.
In addition to our Lovereading4kids expert opinion for Brave a small number of our 'Kids Reader Review Panel' were lucky enough to be invited to read and review this title. Here's a taster....'you will be transported back in time to a world of mammoths, sabretooths and nomadic tribes! A gripping plot with two fantastic main characters.' Sabrina Tadjerout.
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A Piece of Passion from Barry Cunningham, Publisher, Chicken House Wendy Constance brilliantly rips us back in time to a world of the super-tough, where young and old alike survive or get eaten by something very scary. Here, sabretooth cats rub hairy shoulders with mammoths – but actually, in the end, a bit of kindness goes much further than our brave-hearted boy and skilful girl can ever have imagined. And I’m going to try that recipe for snake kebabs myself . . .
13,000 years ago. Wild Horse has been sent to prove his bravery by bringing a runaway girl back to her tribe before she's taken by wolves. But Blue Bird doesn't want to be found, and persuades Wild Horse to join her and a rescued sabre-tooth cub. It's the greatest adventure of their lives, and they must fight with spear, tooth and claw to survive.
Wendy took inspiration for her story from the Clovis people, a pre-historic culture from America who are generally considered to be the ancestors of most of the indiginous people of North and South America. The Clovis people were primarily big game hunters of mega-mammals, particularly mammoths, which they hunted in organised groups. Some scholars believe that the Clovis people drove the mammmoths to extinction through over-hunting.
Kids love to read and a small number of members were lucky enough to be invited to review Brave. You can read their reviews below.
Hector Watch, age 10 - 'a very moving and daring story.' Click Here to read the full review.
Ethan Douglas, age 9 - 'Brilliant book, it makes you want to read on. Based in North America 17,000 years ago this superb book is so good, not a single word is wasted.' Click Here to read the full review.
Sam Harper, age 10 - 'Brave is very different and exciting. A prehistoric adventure which I loved!' Click Here to read the full review.
Sabrina, age 10 - 'you will be transported back in time to a world of mammoths, sabretooths and nomadic tribes! A gripping plot with two fantastic main characters.' Click Here to read the full review.
Patricia Sharp, age 12 - 'one of the most unputdownable books I’ve read in a while...a very engaging story with an enthralling plot.' Click Here to read the full review.
George Symonds, age 11 - 'Brave was a great book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend this to anyone over ten!' Click Here to read the full review.
Adiella Norridge, age 10 - 'A thrilling novel recommended to all lovers of adventure.' Click Here to read the full review.
Lucas, age 9 - 'This book is really exciting!' Click Here to read the full review.
Chloe Pickering, age 10 - 'I liked this book as it was very interesting and exciting.' Click Here to read the full review.
Sidney Greenslade, age 10 - 'A gripping tale of the Ice Age struggles and adventures of Blue Bird and Wild Horse. Highly recommended.' Click Here to read the full review.
Daniel Mann, age 10 - 'I thought this book was absolutely amazing...My favourite section of the story was when Wild Horse fought the wolf. It was exhilarating yet scary...I would recommend it to all my friends.' Click Here to read the full review.
Max Gaskin, age 12 - 'I loved this book, it really got you immersed in the time it was set in and made you think of what life was like back then.' Click Here to read the full review.
Rohan Delamere, age 8 - 'An adventurous quest set in the Stone Age time, Brave is a great book for anybody.' Click Here to read the full review.
Alice East, age 9 - 'This is really exciting book set in the stone age about two children who have run away from their tribe. They are on their own and have work together and help each other when danger strikes.' Click Here to read the full review.
|Publication date:||3rd April 2014|
|Publisher:||Chicken House Ltd|
|Suitable for:||11+ readers, 9+ readers|
|Genres:||Adventure Stories, Animals|
|Recommendations:||Debuts of the Month, Reviewed by Children|
|Other Categories:||All Shortlists and Winners|
My creativity guided me to a career in textile design, but stories kept weaving through my head so I started writing. My ordinary life has been endowed with a vibrant imagination and perseverance, plus a joy of words and colour. After 34 years in Yorkshire I have returned to my rural ‘Essex girl’ roots where I enjoy long walks with Lola my labradoodle to gather thoughts for the day’s writing.More About Wendy Constance