Scarlett – by Cathy Cassidy

Review by Honi Pein age 11


by Cathy Cassidy

At the beginning of this book, Scarlett, aged 12, is expelled from her fifth school in two years for starting a riot in the lunch hall. Unsurprisingly, her mum had had enough.

Previously, her mother sent her to live with her grandmother, who then sent her to her uncle, who sent her back to her mum. But this time, her mum has decided to do something both of them promised would never happen. She’s sending Scarlett to live with her dad.

Her dad left her when she was ten, and ever since she and her mother have despised him, especially when she found out his new wife had a daughter of her own. This feeling continues when she gets off the plane to Ireland, where her dad lives. Her stepmother and sister are very nice to her, but she pushes them away and starts to feel very, very upset with all of them.

Finding out she’ll still be at primary school, as the system is different in Ireland, doesn’t make her any happier. Her first day and there were only two other pupils in her year. She thinks she is doing fine, until they do a Gaelic worksheet on families and she cannot take it.

She escapes and runs towards nowhere. She comes to a lake, and is greeted by a mysterious boy on a horse who takes her back to her house.

But this is only half the book. Later on…

  • She is blackmailed into piercing her sisters nose
  • Her stepmother goes into labour a month early
  • There is a terrible storm
  • Some strange men come looking for the boy on the horse…

I liked this book because it is very different to other books that I’ve read and makes a nice change.

For readers 9+, though I recommend 11-12 year olds.

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