This Friday children across the UK will stumble into the bright/intermittent sunshine of the summer holidays. Looking back, I remember the excitement of those long carefree days; what I wasn’t aware of at the time was the panic taking hold of my parents as they racked their brains for ways of occupying me for six whole weeks.
I’ll always thank my dad for slipping a book into my suitcase before we went on holiday when I was nine. I remember rolling my eyes at him as he did it, but, bored on the plane, I opened it to the first page. I surfaced two days later, begging him to find me the next book in the series. From that moment I have loved reading with such a passion that I went on to shape my life around it, and now get to work with books every day. I’m not sure dad knew what the simple act of shoving a book at me all those years ago would lead to, but I’m pretty sure that at the time, a nine-year-old suddenly obsessed with such a quiet activity must have felt heaven sent!
We have beautiful new covers for The World’s End Series by Monica Dickens, a quartet of novels about siblings living on their own in a tumble-down house, looking after each other and the assortment of animals they save from heartless adults. Perfect for any animal loving kids out there!
Carrie, Tom, Em and Michael Fielding are at the mercy of their rotten Uncle Rudolph after a fire leaves them homeless, with their mother in hospital and their father abroad at sea. Uncle Rudolph and his vain wife Val reluctantly take the children in, but soon let them live alone at World’s End, their ramshackle house in the countryside, rather than look after them.
So begins a life with no grown-ups where the Fielding children can adopt as many dogs, cats, monkeys and horses as they like. Free at last from interference from their relatives, they begin to fend for themselves, adding to their already sizeable collection of animals – rescuing them from the thoughtless cruelty of adults.
Tom, Carrie, Em and Michael are still living on their own at World’s End. In between wondering where the next meal will come from, and trying to avoid interfering grown-ups, they are never short of fun and excitement. Carrie cannot stand to see an animal suffer, and when she plunges into another rescue operation, more perilous than any she has attempted before – putting her, and faithful dog Charlie, into terrible danger – things quickly spiral out of control. Desperately the children struggle to save Charlie from a dreadful fate; but it is a race against time.
There is a place at World’s End for any furry or feathered friend in need. The Fielding children are still living alone while mum and dad are off on adventures of their own, which means they have to take care of themselves.
Carrie and Michael befriend Priscilla who has been left wheelchair-bound by a riding accident. Letting Priscilla ride Oliver is making her happy once again, but when the old barn collapses, there is nowhere for them to practise. Together Tom, Carrie, Em and Michael must come up with a scheme to raise the money to fix the roof and save Priscilla from her smothering mother. But where in the world will they find that sort of money?
With their parents still away, working on a boat in the Mediterranean, Tom, Carrie, Em and Michael have learnt to look after themselves – and their menagerie of animals in their tumble-down house at World’s End. As their Uncle Rudolph threatens to sell their beloved home, the children are determined to earn the money to buy it themselves. But money disappears as fast as it comes in, especially when there are thirty-nine mouths to feed, and time is running out.
Whatever you and your kids do this summer, we hope it’s full of fun, sunshine and adventure!