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Editor's choice


The Madness
Written by Alison Rattle
Published by Hot Key Books
ISBN 978-1471401039

This YA novel is a moving story of a young girl's romantic friendship which steadily develops into an obsession.  Set in the Victorian seaside resort of Clevedon, Marnie, who has a leg damaged by polio, spends her time helping her mother with her work as a dipper to the wealthy ladies who come to take the "sea cure".  The reader learns a lot about this practice thanks to some interesting, detailed passages which create colour alongside historical detail. Marnie loves the sea as it enables her to truly be herself.  It is whilst swimming that she encounters Noah, the son of the lord of Clevedon manor. Their meetings become more frequent, but when Noah leaves for London, she is left to conjure up how their relationship might develop.  This is a sad and honest tale which immerses you in Marnie's fragile state of mind and culminates in an emotional, yet believable, climax. Elaine Chant

Reviews from past issues

Babies & Toddlers
Picture Books
First Steps
Reading Alone
Reading With Confidence
Moving On
Younger Teen Reads
More mature
Information Books


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Carousel is packed with reviews, stories and articles about the world of children's books written by experts. Published three times a year.

Past issues

Carousel 57

The Great War, Chris Haughton, Mick Inkpen, Erin Lange (Carousel 57)

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Oliver Jeffers, Robert Ingpen, Sophia McDougall (Carousel 56)

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Michael Morpugo, Emma Chichester Clark, Shirley Hughes (Carousel 55)

Carousel 54

Petr Horacek, David Melling and New Zealand Adventures (Carousel 54)

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Sir Quentin Blake, Annabel Pitcher and Sara Fanelli (Carousel 53)

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Henry Winkler, Rebecca Elliott and Lemony Snicket (Carousel 52)

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Korky Paul and Winnie the Witch. Robert Swindells. (Carousel 51)

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50th Edition of Carousel. Charles Dickens (Carousel 50)

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Fairy Tales. Liz Pichon (Carousel 49)

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The Twelve Years of the children's Laureate and Picture Book Stars (Carousel 48)

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Picture Books, Pat Thomson and Chris Stephenson (Carousel 47)

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Freya Blackwood, Jane Ray and David Almond (Carousel 46)