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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.
A winner, and not just for those 'first solo readers' Puffin have packaged it for. The heroine is a gem of a six year old who lives in a posh hotel and spends much of her time causing mayhem to the chagrin of her staid English nanny. The tone of the text is very effective, especially when the observant little girl, who tells the story throughout in the first person, picks up the grown-ups' words: 'Nanny says she would rawther I didn't talk talk talk all the time'. Super use of the form of book to tell the tale: a moveable page when she goes up in the lift to the 15th floor; a six page spread when she has a temper fit. A real coup for Puffin (it was first published 30 years ago in the USA). Teachers and librarians must ensure that eights to tens (who'll love it) get past the colour coding.