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Laura Wood is the winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing. Her first YA novel A Sky Painted Gold was shortlisted for the 2019 YA Book Prize, 2018 BAMB Readers’ Awards and the 2019 Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Awards.
She is also the author of the critically acclaimed Vote for Effie and the Poppy Pym series for younger readers.
Set in the 1930s and inspired by Much Ado About Nothing, this thrilling feast of coming-of-age edginess is giddy with the glamour of freethinking artists, and tingles with romantic tension. Constrained by her life in England, aspiring natural historian Bea constantly battles her parents’ attempts to marry her off: “As far as my parents are concerned, daughters aren’t a terribly useful asset. I’m not supposed to go out in the world and actually do things.” But being “too big, too loud, too clever – too much”, Bea has her own ideas about her future, which she’s able to embrace when she’s sent to stay with her wealthy uncle in Italy and discovers with glee that “things at Villa di Stelle might not be so respectable after all.” Among the villa’s vibrant collective of artists is handsome painter Ben, and sparks fly between he and Bea from the off. A lighthearted challenge sees them set out to enjoy a summer romance without falling in love, until events at a decadent party to invoke rain turn out to be explosive in more ways than one. As the heavens crack open, fireworks fly between Ben and Bea and their lives will never be the same again. Alongside Bea’s awakening of body and heart, she also realises that she cannot return to her previous life. She wants what the artists’ have: an “all-consuming passion for their work...a purpose, a vocation.” With the conflict between her free-spirited nature and societal constraints exacerbated by her Italian experiences, with the world now opened up to her, the gateway cannot be closed. The author’s Great Gatsby-esque A Sky Painted Gold was a 2018 favourite of mine, and this is every bit as bathed in coming-of-age hope and a sense of being on the brink of something special.
Summer by the seaside with Gran isn't exactly what Callie expected. Instead of sunshine and ice cream, she's stuck helping Gran's drama group save their local theatre. Worst of all, they've asked her to star in their play. But when she goes exploring backstage, Callie stumbles into an altogether different world - another theatre, run by a wise fox and her troupe of talking animals. And the strangest part of all? Callie's set to play the lead in their show too. Forced to face her fears will Callie be up to the challenge of saving Madame Malone's Music Hall? A cast of creative creatures take centre stage in this theatrical Barrington Stoke debut from Blue Peter Book Award shortlisted author Laura Wood.
Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2020. Join Effie Kostas as she fights to become Student Council President in her new school. With a campaign team of loveable misfits, she tackles the truly important subjects: gender imbalance outdated school conventions... and good-looking boys stealing the last slice of chocolate cake at lunchtime. A laugh-out-loud rallying call for switched-on kids everywhere.
Effie is changing the world, one classroom at a time. Dark forces are at work at Highworth Grange school: the student council has been taken over by a tyrannical villain with his own agenda. But Effie Kostas isn't about to stand by and watch democracy crumble! She's leading the resistance - but politics can be a dirty game and Effie will need to keep her wits about her as she faces down the enemy. With the help of her brilliant band of misfit friends, a bad-tempered parrot, and a former nemesis, can Effie save the school she loves before it's too late?
A snow-dusted love story. In the Autumn of 1931, eighteen-year-old Freya Trevelyan runs away from her home in Cornwall to follow her dream of becoming an actress. When she is invited to join a theatrical company about to head out on tour, Freya thinks the path to success is clear, and, amidst all the glamour and bustle of stage life, she finds - for the first time - a place to belong. But can reality ever live up to her expectations? What if her life - and falling in love - turn out to be nothing like she planned? An enchanting coming of age romance about following your dreams - even when they aren't quite what you expected. Praise for A Sky Painted Gold: 'The perfect comfort read' Ella Risbridger, author of Midnight Chicken 'Pure escapism ... a wildly romantic, delicious indulgence' OBSERVER 'A brilliant, beautiful book' Louise O'Neill, author of The Surface Breaks 'Perfect for glamour-soaked summer escapism' MAIL ON SUNDAY
When a mysterious runaway van crashes into St Smithen's on the first day of the new school year, Poppy knows it's going to be an action-packed term! But when accidents continue to happen at St Smithen's, Poppy can't shake the feeling that her every move is being watched. With the Christmas holidays looming, secrets lurking in every corner and rumours of a dangerous beast on the loose, Poppy must unravel her biggest mystery yet. Can Poppy unmask the hidden spy before someone gets hurt?
Winner of the Scholastic Montegrappa Prize for New Children's Writing = Poppy is thrilled that they're spending the summer at Smuggler's Cove. It might even take her mind off the mystery of her past. But Poppy is about to make some amazing discoveries - and solve more than one mystery...
From the Winner of the Scholastic Montegrappa Prize for New Children's Writing It's Halloween at Saint Smithen's. When the Brimwell town hall burns down, the amateur production of Macbeth is moved to the school and it's all hands on deck. But when the play is struck by a series of mysterious attacks, it's up to Poppy, her friends and her circus family to save the play and unmask the culprit.
Winner of the Scholastic Montegrappa Prize for New Children's Writing = Poppy Pym has grown up in the circus, taming lions before lunch and learning acrobatics in the afternoon. But when she turns eleven, her circus family decides she needs a more traditional education, and she is sent to boarding school. At first Poppy doesn't fit in at St Smithen's, a school that is very different from the circus. Then, an ancient Egyptian ruby arrives at school and dangerous accidents start occurring. Suddenly it's up to Poppy to save her new school and solve the mystery of the Pharaoh's curse!