Who'll Catch the Nightmares?
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This month BfK features Jane Ray’s cover for The Twelve Dancing Princesses. We’re particularly delighted to have the opportunity to use this illustration as it enables us to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Orchard Books - they’re 10 this year! And also to thank them for their help in producing our July cover.
Gemma Gladwin is determined to be an actress and is overjoyed when she lands the leading role in the school play. Home life is not so rewarding, however, since her mother is haunted by a nightmare from the past which blights all their lives. Family tensions and affections are created surely: Danny, nine years old, is struggling to read and sensitive; Mr Gladwin is denying his wife's illness; and Uncle Bill is the mediator - warm, charismatic and capable. When Danny runs away, his mother faces her demons and opens the way to new understandings for both herself and Gemma. The relationships in the novel are its strongest feature but the author's exploration of the themes of loss and love is strikingly well-handled and will be enjoyed by Year 8 readers upwards.