WRATH by Marcus Sedgwick – Published by Barrington Stoke

Master storyteller Marcus Sedgwick makes his Barrington Stoke debut with a moody, intense mystery of a missing girl and the intricasies of teen relationships.

The mysterious disappearance of teenager Cassie Cotton had me hooked from the very first page and the events that unfold, as told by classmate Fitz.

Cassie has always been a bit different, a bit alternative, but when she starts to hear a strange humming sound that others don’t notice, it starts to attract her unwanted attention at school. Fitz is completely intrigued by her and the more time they spend together rehearsing in the band, the more he realises he really likes her. He thinks she likes him too – if only he could find a way to tell her how he feels…There’s an absolutely beautiful scene where the pair lay side by side in the park, just their fingertips touching and I think it might just be my favourite scene in a book for a long time.

The sound gets louder for an increasingly unsettled Cassie and she believes it’s a sound that the earth is in distress. Fitz isn’t sure; he can’t work out if it’s the lockdowns, the stress of her parents arguing or something else that’s affecting Cassie… She’s a troubled and complicated soul that straightforward Fitz finds difficult to navigate. She blows hot and then stone cold.

And then she disappears.

Worried by what she’ll do, Fitz is determined to find her but has no clue where to start looking.  Will he be in time to help her…?

As depicted in Paul Blow’s breathtaking cover illustration, the tension reaches fever pitch in a heart-stopping climax at Cape Wrath, the most north-westerley point in mainland Britain. Literally no word is wasted in this powerful tale of teenage angst.

I was so completely compelled by this belter of a book, Marcus Sedgwick + Barringtonstoke =
a match made in book heaven! I’m hoping this is the start of a beautiful relationship and there are more collaborations to come.

Barrington Stoke are without a doubt, my favourite children’s publisher. They put the work of the very finest children’s authors into the hands of young readers in manageable, novella length books and their impact in the classroom is huge. My colleagues and I have seen the most reluctant of readers transformed before our very eyes by this range and I’m forever begging my school’s Reading Leader to buy more Barrington Stoke!

WRATH is out on 3rd March

As always, thanks to Barrington Stoke for the opportunity to review to review your wonderful books.

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