By Simon Mason
(David Fickling Books, Hardcover, 9780385752350, 336pp.)
Publication Date: November 8, 2011
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Someone has to keep their head, as Mum used to say, and 11-year-old Martha is used to being that someone in her family. Her little brother, Tug, is too small. Her dad has been acting too strange. And Mum's not here anymore.
So when Dad falls off the roof, it's Martha who ices his knee and takes him to the doctor. And when Dad doesn't come home, it's Martha who cooks Tug's favorite pie and reads him his bedtime story. And when Dad passes out, it's Martha who cleans him up and keeps his secret.
But eventually Dad's problems become too big for even Martha to solve, and she realizes it's not all up to her—there are people and places she can turn to.
SIMON MASON is the author of the Quigleys series for young readers: The Quigleys (Highly Commended in the UK's Branford Boase Award), The Quigleys at Large, The Quigleys Not for Sale, and The Quigleys in a Spin. He has also written three adult novels.
Simon lives in Oxford with his wife and two children.
Starred Review, School Library Journal, January 1, 2012:
“[An] in-depth, touching, and absorbing novel of a family’s disintegration, repair, and promise.”
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2011
"British author Mason has conjured a rarity indeed—a tremendously charming, unflinching account of a parent’s downward spiral."