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Letters from the Lighthouse: ‘THE QUEEN OF HISTORICAL FICTION’ Guardian: 1

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The Matilda Effect is brilliant book because it inspired me to do anything and everything even if people say it’s ‘ not for girls’. The story was set in February 1941 at the beginning of the second World War in London and Devon, two very different cities. Set during WWII, we follow Olive and Cliff as they’re evacuated to the coast of Devon after months of heavy air raids across London. By shining a spotlight on supplementary characters’ preconceptions and showing their progression towards change and acceptance, my class were able to connect with the injustices faced by refugees, both in the past and the present, on a far deeper level.

My professional qualifications are: PGDip in Library and Information Management from the University of Ulster and CILIP Chartership (MCLIP). Letters from the Lighthouse has a unique plot which I personally think Emma Carroll has succeeded in to make it a bestseller. Suffice to say, it contains plenty of twists and turns to keep you engrossed, as Olive tries to decode a mysterious note she has found in the pocket of the coat that her sister was wearing on the night she vanished.At first Olive struggles with life in the country and sadly makes an enemy of the challenging Esther. I thought the history was so realistic and it's made me want to find out more about the history and that time period in particular. Their father has been killed, their mother appears to be sinking under her grief and their older sister, Sukie, has gone missing after a bombing raid. The historical information I have learnt from this book is that Jews were not given permission to evacuate to any country. I adored this story the first time around, and on re-reading, my opinion is confirmed that this is another example of brilliant writing by Emma Carroll.

If you haven't read any Carroll books before then you need to add them all to your reading list right now. A mysterious note found in the coat of her sister suggests that Sukie was involved in something dangerous, but Olive can't make the pieces fit together. The death of one parent, and how it impacted the other parent, comes up at the very beginning of the book (page 5).

It is a story of mystery and revelation, of loss and hope, of togetherness and separation, of prejudice and enlightenment. Perennials PERENNIALS constant friends A selection of novels, memoirs and more by some of our favourite authors.

When Olive is caught in an air raid, her mum decides that it is time her children were evacuated out of London and she is sent, with her brother, Cliff, to live in a small coastal village in Devon. My personal view is that encouraging all children to find a love of books is key to their future well-being. its a suspenseful book that uses good vocabulary and relates to real peoples lives in the past (1941). The portrayal of prejudice in a community and how quickly this can turn to fear and hatred is powerfully shown.Why are we not allowed to find out what is in Ephraim's cupboards or the top floor, and finally the big question- Where is Sukie and what does the note mean? Then she finds a strange coded note – a note that changes everything and which seems to link Sukie to Devon, and to something dark and impossibly dangerous.

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