FROM THE BLURB:
“Present day: Semira doesn’t know where to call home. She and her mother came to England when she was four years old, brought across the desert and the sea by a man who has complete control. Always moving on, always afraid of being caught, she longs for freedom. 1891: Hen knows exactly where to call home. Her stifling mother makes sure of that. But her Aunt Kitty is opening her eyes to a whole new world. A world of animal rights, and votes for women, and riding bicycles! Trapped in a life of behaving like a lady, she longs for freedom. When Semira discovers Hen’s diary, she finds the inspiration to be brave, to fight for her place in the world, and maybe even to uncover the secrets of her own past Gill Lewis is the multi-award-winning and best-selling author of novels including Sky Hawk, White Dolphin, and A Story Like the Wind. This is her unforgettable tale of friendship, hope, and finding the courage to fight for what you believe in.”
This is a story aimed at older children or young teens and I thought it was a wonderful story. The author cleverly blended two young girls’ stories.
One from around a hundred years ago when the suffragettes were fighting for the vote and the RSPB first started. Women were meant to be feminine and stay at home and be sociable. Henrietta’s aunt was fighting the system and took Hen bicycle riding which was most unseemly but it was ‘the closest thing to flying’
the other story was Semira who found Hen’s diary in an old hat box. Semira was a refugee who came from Eritrea with her mother but they were being ‘kept’ by a controlling man who was using them to collect money they should have been given.
The stories are connected as Hen’s gives Semira courage and inspiration, they both love cycling and were forbidden to do it but still did.
I liked the fact that both girls had character and were feisty and courageous. The stories were both interesting and well told.
I would recommend this to all young girls especially but boys could learn a lot from it too. t would open up lots of discussion possibilities in a school for year 6/7 children