Author(s): Joan Aiken
In a period of English History that never happened, when Good King James III is on the throne, and the whole country is ravaged by wolves which have migrated through the newly-opened Channel Tunnel. When orphans Bonnie and Sylvia fall into the hands of evil Miss Slighcarp, they need all their wits - and the help of Simon the goose-boy - to escape unscathed, for the governess is more cruel and merciless than the wolves that surround the great house of Willoughby Chase.
Filled with brilliantly-drawn Dickensian characters, it would make an excellent choice for strong preteen readers who like an old-fashioned story with a strong plot and good characterisation. This book often appears on lists of best-loved children's books.
A wild and evocative fantasy, stylishly told, with a tremendous romantic appeal Observer Altogether an invigorating book, in which the wit and nonsense make such a sparkling fizz together that it is hard to tell one from the other Times Educational Supplement One genuine small masterpiece. Almost a copy-book lesson in those virtues that a classic children's book must possess Time magazine Joan Aiken is a marvel -- Philip Pullman The Guardian
Joan Delano Aiken MBE was an English writer specialising in supernatural fiction and children's alternate history novels. In 1999 she was awarded an MBE for her services to children's literature.