Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Fairly Positive

In Brief: Intriguing, mixing semi-supernatural with modern superstition.

Author: Penelope Lively

Age Range: Children

Period: Contemporary

Genres:  Coping withSpooky


Peter and Mair Jenkins come to live in a village when their father becomes headmaster of the school there. They meet Goacher in the woods, the disturbed son of the Tranter family who farm the land around. Goacher has hidden for safekeeping a chalice which the villagers believe will ward off the plague which destroyed the village of Astercote in the Middle Ages. The ruins of the village have since been swallowed up by the woods. When the chalice goes missing, the villagers all believe they are contracting the plague, and barricade themselves against outsiders. Peter and Mair, with Evadne the district nurse, find the chalice and life returns to normal.

Tuesday 1st January 2002