Monthly Archives: April 2013

Trouble With Mummies, children’s review.


Here is a review of Trouble with Mummies from an awesome team of children who were given an advance copy.  Sadly, I can’t work out how to load up their terrific drawings which is a shame, they really enhance the review – but perhaps you can imagine them.


“Here Comes Trouble!

Watch out history fans, here’s the troublesome team…Bert, Izzy, Scarlett , Jess
and Dan to mess up your time line.
They are 10 and 11 year olds with a passion for the past! They adore ancient
adventures, fascinating facts, but their chronology is crummy!
Read and Review Questions
“Did you like the book?”
“It was really funny and full of
“It had interesting facts about
history. ”
“I liked the little skirmishes between the tribes best of all.”
“I could see every moment in my head. The author makes you feel like you’re in the book.
Only a really good author can make you feel that! ”
“The ending was so unexpected – it made me want to read on.”
“The characters start out as everyday people but turn into heroes – this was really cool!”
“It was funny when Mum came in wearing a small black beard!”
“Did it remind you of any other book you have read?”
“It reminded me of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, full of historical mythology.”
“It reminded me of Horrible History Books – lots of historical adventures.”
“It reminded me of the film ‘Night at the Museum, because in it lots of the ancient people and animals come alive and fight!”
“It reminded me of Phillip Pullman’s ‘Northern Lights’, because a modern world gets turned upside down and pulled backwards in time!”
“I thought the book was unique – there is nothing like it!”
“It’s unique – it’s like modern Vs old!”
“ Was it an easy book to read?
“Yes – very easy because it was so exciting – you can’t put it down!.”
“It had great descriptive sentences, so you could see everything in your mind.”
“The language is not too sophisticated.”
“It’s not too long to read.”
“Did you like/dislike the characters in the book?”
“Henry is funny and a bit crazy, as he is loyal to his goat!”
“I love Lucy the goat!”
“I did, because all of them were really funny and did strange things!”
“Miss Primrose is a basket of kittens, however she turns into an Aztec that
collects hearts!”
“I really like Ursula, she’s usually bored with life, but suddenly she gets
wrapped up in the adventure!”
“I liked the characters – I felt I could relate to them.”
“I liked how all the families were different.”
“Sam is the boss of the group, but he gets pulled like a tug of war rope, because his two friends don’t like each other. He’s like Sam from Lord of The Rings – torn between Rosie and Frodo.”
“The characters are really brave and heroic.”
“My favourite character is Ursula, because she is always filming things, even if it’s not a good time. I wonder if she has a You Tube account?”
“Do you think it was written for someone of your age?”
“Yes, because it’s not a very long book and maybe the three main characters (Sam, Ursula and Henry) could be my age.”
“It certainly helps if you know about the history of Aztecs, Romans, Cavemen etc.”
“I think 10, 11, 12 year olds would really appreciate the book.”
“Is there anything else you’d like to say?”
“We think that the ideal reader will like: history, fantasy, epic battles, action, comedy, pyramids, goats and beards – NO ROMANCE!!!
“Fleur Hitchcock could write a sequel set in a futuristic school, where children
get daily uploads through USB ports inside their brains and check their e-mails!”
“We think that Fleur Hitchcock could write another story about a parallel world where time goes backwards.”
“We would like this in an e-book edition.”
“It would make a great movie.”
“The great description means that you don’t need illustrations.”
“A giant well done to the author!”
“This book has inspired me to read more historical and fantasy books and write stories like it!”
“I would definitely recommend it to other people to read.”
“This book is awesome!”


Chasing plot bunnies

Today is chapter 14 of the Story Adventure, and it’s beginning to feel like chasing rabbits over a very large field – and a set of tunnels.

Just occasionally I get a vision as to where this is going, and then it doesn’t quite go there. Just like a bunny, it dives off down out of sight into the ground, and if I’m really lucky, springs up on the other side running in the same direction.  But mostly it stops dead, disappears or does a u turn.

Not that I’m not enjoying it, but some days, and today is one of them, it turns out to be REALLY HARD WORK.

Three more episodes to write before I try to pull it into shape, with a beginning, a middle and an ending.

I’m itching to have a go….


Letters from children and Blue Peter


When I went to St Anne’s on Sea, with Storyteller’s Inc and SHRUNK! I visited this school where the children presented me with this fantastic book of their work.

Here are two of the poems:



When they gave me the booklet, I was so amazed I almost cried – and now it sits on my desk alongside my copies of my own books.

Today – at Hot Key Books HQ They’ve received a pile of handwritten, illustrated pen and paper letters from Yr 3 children at a school near London who have been reading SHRUNK! – I’m dying to see the letters so that I can read them, and write back – but I’ve seen some tantalising scans of the work, and read some wonderful comments.  I suspect their teacher has encouraged them to write, and that she’s hoping a reply from me might encourage them to write further.

I think it’s a really good idea and I really hope it works.

Years ago – I think Blue Peter realised this, frantically replying to the thousands of letters from devotees of Shep and Petra, that arrived every week alongside the cascades of forks, spoons, bottle tops and sticky back plastic.


This letter I received from Biddy Baxter (BP producer) herself, was so thrilling, that I still feel excited when I handle it today.  And it’s hand typed – can you imagine?

So if you’re a teacher – or a librarian – I really do welcome letters from children – send them to the publishers, depending on which book you read – and I promise to write back.

That’s pen and ink and a stamp – and possibly even handwriting.