The Sign of the Black Dagger

Joan Lingard leapt into my field of vision with her  Kevin and Sadie series about life and love across the barricades in Northern Ireland. From that, you can tell that she has been writing award winning books for children for many years now, following the publication of her first adult novel in 1963. Many of her books are inspired by her own experiences, or those of family members. Born in Edinburgh and now living in Edinburgh after growing up in Belfast, she has set The Sign of the Black Dagger in the Royal Mile. The story alternates between the present day and 1796, as we find four children living with the consequences of their fathers’s debts.

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What to do About Holly, by Joan Lingard

In this, her 40th novel for children, Joan Lingard finds a fresh approach to the problem of abandoned children. Her children’s novels have covered many topics that concern and frighten children and this is no exception. Despite her 70 years, she is as tuned is and perceptive to the world of children as ever.

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