Jeanne Willis portrays the grim day-to-day existance of Gemma Diamond and her over-protective father Jim. Having been made homeless by an unscrupulous landlord, Jim is arrested trying to break into their flat to rescue Gemma's dog, Duke. Gemma takes off with Duke and reinvents herself as a boy, Jimmy Scar. When she is taken in by an eccentric older woman, Monti, who leads an alternative lifestyle in the woods, Gemma learns survival skills and discovers much about herself and real values.

"Jeanne Willis writes superbly, creating credible characters and an intricate plot. After twists and turns, the various strands come together. The story is ultimately satisfying for children aged 10 and above."

T.E.S.

 

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