Saffy's Angel

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

In Brief: A lighthearted look at family and friendships. Cheerful and close family, although the father is effectively living elsewhere. Positive look at wheelchair-bound youngster.

Cover of Saffy's Angel

Author: Hilary McKay

Series: Casson Family

Publisher: Hodder

Published in: 2001

Age Range: Pre Teens+

Period: Contemporary

Setting: England

Genres:  FamilyHumorous


  • Saffy Casson is a 13-year-old with a brother and two sisters and a pair of artistic and slightly unconventional parents.
  • Sarah is Saffy's wheelchair-bound friend, determined not be left out of anything.
  • Indigo is Saffy's 11-year-old brother, forever concerned about someone or something -- usually his sisters.
  • Cadmium is the oldest Casson, retaking A-levels and her driving test.


Saffy, the second of four children, discovers that she is adopted and is determined to regain the Angel her grandfather left her in his will as a mark of something which is really hers. Meanwhile, her scatty artist parents pursue their careers, her father in his London studio, her mother in the garden shed. Caddy is torn between her driving instructor and what she should be doing for her family. And Indigo is working on overcoming his fears.


General: A lighthearted look at family and friendships. As with Hilary McKay's other books, you just have to imagine all the slighty batty people you know rolled into one family.

Family: Mr Casson works in London during the week, and obviously spends time avoiding his family whom he regards as difficult to live with. He obviously loves them, but more at a distance. The rest of the family are cheerfully close and quite happy to put up with or to denounce each other's idiosyncracies.

Friendship: Saffy strikes up a friendship with Sarah, a rather well-to-do girl from up the road who is confined to a wheelchair, a circumstance which she refuses to let stop her enjoying herself. It is Sarah's idea to smuggle Saffy into the family trip to Italy so that she can find her lost Angel.

“Indigo!” shouted Caddy, jumping out of the car.

Indigo and Rose's heads appeared in the window above.

“It's all right, Caddy!” Indigo called cheerfully. “We've been doing it all the time you've been gone.”

“We keep finding more stuff to land on!” added Rose. “Look!”

She stepped aside to make room for Indigo, who, ignoring Caddy's screams, climbed casually on to the windowsill, rolled over on to his front and slid down the multicoloured snake on to the sea of cushions. Rose followed after, landing with a bounce on the mattress. There she continued to bounce up and down while explaining that the whole arrangement was perfectly safe and that the other end of the rope was being looked after by Saffron, who had tied it to the bed leg and was guarding the knot.

“What stupid, stupid kids!” exclaimed Michael.

Indigo and Rose stopped bouncing and stared at him in astonishment. Saffron appeared at the window above and glared scornfully down.

“Who,” said Rose, “asked you?”

Sunday 18th January 2004