Caddy’s World

People vanish for dayas, come to live in your bedroom, hide under tables for hours and hours, count pennies in jam jars until they have enough to buy bread, and then the next day gild halos for the school play with real gold leaf.  Caddy’s home is a turmoil of piled possessions, lost belongings, and unexpected adventures.  Her one constant is her three best friends, a charmed circle that she never wants to leave.  But the summer that Caddy is twelve, everything turns upside diwn.  Her mother spends most of her time in the hospital with the fragile new baby.  Her father comes home from London to “organize” his family, causing plenty of chaotic confusion.  Her boyfriend, not content with dating three girls, is looking to conquer a fourth.  But worst of all for Caddy, her best friends are growing up and growing apart.  Luckily, Caddy is the bravest of the brave and luckily for Caddy, endings are not always the end, and a world that is entirely unpredictaale is also a world full of surprises.

A Rose for the Anzac Boys

The story starts in 1915. Midge Macpherson is at school in England, having been sent there from New Zealand after her father’s death. Her brothers are both serving in the war; her younger brother was last heard of at the Gallipoli campaign earlier that year. Her cousins are serving in the British army. Keen to ‘do their bit’ for the war effort, Midge and her school friends, Ethel and Anne, start up a canteen behind the front in France. Anne, daughter of English aristocracy, can’t wait to escape her inevitable future of being married off to someone ‘suitable’, and Ethel, a Yorkshire lass, six foot tall and built like a rugby player, isn’t exactly debutante material.

As the war goes on, the girls start to see the consequences of the ‘noble cause’ they’re supporting, graphically illustrated by letters from Midge’s brother Dougie, her aunt Lallie (who is running a hospital ward in Alexandria), and a couple of Australians also serving on the front, Gordon Marks and Harry Harrison. Midge, resourceful for her years, is ‘borrowed’ by the ambulance service, thus witnessing at close hand the carnage of the battlefields, and hearing the stories of those who come back. She sings songs to the dying, learns to tolerate hit-and-miss anaesthesia and twelve-hour shifts, and meets some remarkable people. She accepts a birthday gift of a drawing, done by a blinded soldier, of a vase of roses. And, on her return to New Zealand, discovers that her world has changed, and she must seek out her future in Australia.

Under the Green Hill

Meg and her siblings have been sent to the English countryside for the summer to stay with elderly relatives. The children are looking forward to exploring the ancient mansion and perhaps discovering a musty old attic or two filled with treasure, but never in their wildest dreams did they expect to find themselves in the middle of a fairy war. When Rowan pledges to fight for the beautiful fairy queen, Meg is desperate to save her brother. But the Midsummer War is far more than a battle between mythic creatures: Everything that lives depends on it. How can Meg choose between family and the fate of the very land itself?