by Cathy Cassidy

Reading Age: 9+

Interest level: 11+

by Cathy Cassidy

Twelve-year-old Scarlett is a rebel: outrageous clothes, tongue stud, total contempt for authority and thinks she is totally cool.


Inside she constantly mourns the loss of the perfect family life she remembers before her father left, and bitterly resents the super-efficient mother who hasn't time for her. As a result she refuses to become part of her father's new happy family life, particularly the easy going and loving Clare, her father's pregnant wife.


However, when Scarlett meets a mysterious boy riding a black horse, she begins to feel a new calm and happiness. Scarlett's story is often funny, but the serious hurt she is feeling is ever-present.


There is a magical timelessness to the story, added by the constant references to ancient Irish folklore.


Publisher: Penguin


'Of course, getting kicked out of Greenhall Academy is no joke. Head teachers and school secretaries don’t scare me, but Mum – well, that’s a different story.


We travel home on the tube in stony silence, which is not good news. The first time I got excluded from Greenhall, Mum laughed and said that dyeing your hair green in the school toilets was hardly a criminal offence.


OK, I shouldn’t have nicked that bottle of hydrogen peroxide from the chemistry lab, but I’d heard the stuff was used in hair dye, and I was truing to get a few cool blonde streaks. I didn’t know it would turn my hair into something that looked, felt and smelt like a clump of mouldering seaweed. Attractive – not.'

About the author

  • Cathy Cassidy

    Cathy Cassidy wrote and illustrated her first book at eight-years-old. She has worked as an editor on Jackie magazine, a teacher, and as agony aunt on Shout magazine. She lives in Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland, with her husband, two children, three cats, two rabbits and a mad hairy lurcher called Kelpie.


    Cathy Cassidy's warm, funny, tender fiction including Dizzy, Indigo Blue, Sundae Girl and many more has won her an army of dedicated fans. The power and importance of friendship is at the heart of each of her books but most crucially, Cathy brings an element of magic to every story, discovering the magic that exists in every corner, in every day and sprinkling it through her narrative. is the place to be for any diehard Cathy Cassidy fan, featuring top gossip, creative writing competitions, downloadable freebies and much more.


     She has written seven hugely successful novels for Puffin.

    Cathy Cassidy Photo: Puffin
    Cathy Cassidy Photo: Puffin

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Average rating: 5/5

What you thought

i think that was amazing and i hope you write more books cos that was soo cool

Rating: 5 star
21 October 2016

Scarlett is the sort of girl who doesn't care about what people think of her, always in big trouble. Challenges await her, including friendship, love and birth.... I also really like the cover of the book, with Scarlett on the mysterious black horse, looks terrific. I have read all Cassidy's books, there all AMAZING, please, please, please, write more Cathy!

Rating: 5 star
14 September 2015

This book was crazy. I couldn't believe what this girl was going through. Mixed emotions stirred inside me. Scarlett is an amazing book, I love it.

Rating: 5 star
23 July 2015

i thought that this book was very good. i really enjoyed it!

Rating: 5 star
29 March 2012

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Average rating: 5/5