This could have been written about me, the young witchlet. And for that reason, presumably also about many of you, and that will be why it appeals so much. Hilary McKay’s new book for Barrington Stoke is a sweet blend of loneliness and nature.
Jodie is new at school, and hasn’t made any friends. But she still has to go on the school’s trip to the field centre, staying overnight, sharing a room with five other girls, and not only has she got the ‘wrong’, new equipment, but the teacher she trusts is unable to come.
She ends up breaking the centre’s rules, partly because she needs to escape the other girls, and partly because there is this dog that keeps barking and she wants to find it, to help it. And then she gets stuck on the salt marshes.
She is so lonely, and so brave. She knows no one will come for her, no one will miss her. Or be able to find her.
This is a slightly supernatural tale of bravery, love and friendship. Not everything is as it seems.