Dear Mr Henshaw
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The illustration on our cover is from the newly-published Robert Cormier novel Beyond the Chocolate War, (Gollancz, 0 575 03711 3, £7.95). The illustration is by Caroline Binch and shows in the centre Archie Costello, Assigner of the Vigils, holding the white ball which readers of The Chocolate War will remember as all important in deciding who undertakes the assignments that are required from certain unfortunate individuals. In this sequel new characters join him and the old return to play out Archie's last term at Trinity High. We are grateful to Gollancz for help in using this illustration.
Warm, witty book from a versatile writer and a well-deserved Newbery Medal winner. The external landscapes of Leigh's life could be grim: nagging teachers, uncaring absent Dad, tired and nervy Mum. But his life is lightened by the writing he does: school stories, diaries and the correspondence with the famous writer of the book's title. This is one of those rare books where one feels the author has given over the telling to the child in the tale. Leigh constructs it through his different ways of writing and there's a superb lightness of touch. The boy learns that growing up is, amongst other things, coming to terms with the perspectives of the grown ups; readers learn that writing and storying is one of the ways in which you can do this. A special treat for middle to top juniors: not to be missed.