The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
World War II is on the horizon and Rosie’s been evacuated to the countryside to be safe from the threat of bombs. However, the village where she’s staying isn’t as idyllic as it at first appears and Mary, the girl she’s staying with, is a terrible bully and determined to be as nasty as possible.
Forced to play on her own, Rosie is drawn to the local swimming hole. It’s known as the Witches’ Pond and she’s been told to stay away. No-one ever swims there – not since a young girl drowned in it a few years ago. But when Rosie goes there anyway, there is a girl there. Who is she? Is she real? Is she a ghost? And what – or who – is she waiting for?
Chris Priestley very effectively builds the suspense in this chilling tale of friendships gone wrong, ghosts and revenge. Largely psychological and with a strong theme of bullying, the sense of injustice that Rosie feels as Mary turns the village children against her is palpable, while the mystery of the girl in the pond is spine-tinglingly creepy. A highly readable, page-turning story in dyslexia-friendly font.