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At the Sign of the Sugared Plum
Cover of At the Sign of the Sugared Plum
At the Sign of the Sugared Plum
At the Sign of the Sugared Plum Series, Book 1
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'You be going to live in the city, Hannah?' Farmer Price asked, pushing his battered hat up over his forehead. 'Wouldn''t think you'd want to go there . . . Times like this, I would have thought your...
'You be going to live in the city, Hannah?' Farmer Price asked, pushing his battered hat up over his forehead. 'Wouldn''t think you'd want to go there . . . Times like this, I would have thought your...
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Description-

  • 'You be going to live in the city, Hannah?' Farmer Price asked, pushing his battered hat up over his forehead. 'Wouldn''t think you'd want to go there . . . Times like this, I would have thought your sister would try and keep you away.' Hannah is oblivious to Farmer Price's dark words, excited as she is about her first ever trip to London to help her sister in her shop 'The Sugared Plum', making sweetmeats for the gentry. Hannah does not however get the reception she expected from her sister Sarah. Instead of giving Hannah a hearty welcome, Sarah is horrified that Hannah did not get her message to stay away - the Plague is taking hold of London.

    Based on much research, Mary Hooper tellingly conveys how the atmosphere in London changes from a disbelief that the Plague is anything serious, to the full-blown horror of the death carts and being locked up - in effect to die - if your house is suspected of infection.

About the Author-

  • Mary Hooper is a very popular writer for children and young adults. Her brilliant historical novels have a huge fan base, as do her contemporary novels for teenagers. At The Sign of the Sugared Plum was selected as part of the 2010 Booked Up scheme and Fallen Grace has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2011. Mary lives in Henley-on-Thames.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 25, 2003
    Hooper's (Amy) peppy historical novel starts out with a jaunty tone, and remains relatively chipper to the end—no mean achievement, considering that it's set in London in 1665, the year that the Great Plague wiped out more than a third of the city's population. Starry-eyed Hannah, the narrator, journeys to the city from her native village to help out in her sister Sarah's sweetshop. Even as she hears preliminary news about the plague, just about everything else fascinates her: the elegant ladies and dandies parading about the Royal Exchange, a brief encounter with actress Nelly Gwyn, even the decapitated heads mounted over London Bridge. A developing friendship with Tom, apprentice to the local apothecary, adds an extra sweetness to Hannah's daily routine. Visiting the Houndsditch market to trade old clothes for an elegant secondhand outfit (said to have been previously owned by a genuine countess!) and other small adventures paint a vivid picture of long-ago London that is marred only occasionally by bursts of anachronistic dialogue ("I feel so guilty about bringing you here and making you go through all this"). Meanwhile, the plague becomes ever more frightening as neighbors and even a dear friend sicken and die. So likable is Hannah that readers will cheer when she and her sister accomplish the near-miracle of escaping from the quarantined city, courtesy of a jerry-rigged plot device. A tale almost as tasty as the sisters' comfits. Ages 10-up.

  • Independent 'This story remains gripping throughout'
  • School Librarian 'A thrilling story . . . A very enjoyable and extremely well-written book that will really appeal to teenage and pre-teenage readers'

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    Bloomsbury Publishing
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At the Sign of the Sugared Plum
At the Sign of the Sugared Plum
At the Sign of the Sugared Plum Series, Book 1
Mary Hooper
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