Digital version – browse, print or download
Receive the latest news & reviews direct to your inbox!
This issue's cover is a photograph of Anne Frank whose diary is discussed by Michael Rosen fifty years after its first publication. Following the arrest of the Frank family and their companions, the secret annex in Amsterdam where they had been in hiding was locked up and everybody forbidden to enter it, since Jewish possessions became Nazi property and were carted away. Before this happened, the young woman, Miep Gies, who had provided those in hiding with food and who had a second key to the annex, risked herself once more by entering it. Miep retrieved Anne's diary from the devastation together with the Frank family photograph album.
Thanks to Penguin Children's Books for help in reproducing this cover.
In real life the Founder and Coordinator of the national pressure group CENTRAL (Children's Education Needs Teaching Resources And Libraries), Hoffman presents us in her latest novel with a paean to the power of libraries. Drab little Emily Grey haunts the local branch to feed her need for fantasy fiction and give herself more ideas for her own fantasy existence as K'sedra, Empress-Mage of the Desert Kingdom of Krin. It's here in the fantasy section that she meets Archie (short for Archway) Powers who she just knows is going to be her best friend. Archie is part of an eccentric family that has just moved into the neighbourhood and Emily soon realises that they are beings (creatures, forces?) from another planet (galaxy, dimension?) who have beamed down to Earth using the library (that power-house of knowledge) as a gateway. A council threat to shut the library as a cost-cutting exercise involves Emily, the Powers, elegant Eleanor Everett (Head of English), the spritzer set (her A-level English group) and assorted others in demos and sleep-ins and there is much fun with the Powers' powers (if you catch my drift). All cleverly done but a touch too long - it feels like a short story that has run out of control.