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North and the Only One

Book Synopsis

From the award-winning author of The Brightstorm Chroncles, Vashti Hardy, comes a powerful new story set in a surprising world filled with action, adventure and big questions about family and what it means to be human. Perfect for readers aged 9+ and for fans of Ross Welford and Piers Torday.

Twelve-year-old Rose can’t remember anything before last week, when she woke up not knowing her own name, her own house, or or even her own mother. The only thing Rose recognized was her puppy, North.

But Mother patiently explained everything – well, not everything. Not the real-feeling dreams Rose has about a mysterious forest she half-recognizes. Or why she is not allowed to stray beyond the garden, out into Luminelle, the vast city surrounding them.

Mother is kind and helpful, but Rose can’t shake the feeling that something’s not right. Or maybe it’s everything that’s not right?

But then, when Rose flees to the outside world with North, it quickly becomes clear to Rose that she is different. And for reasons she doesn’t understand, she’s dangerous.

On an unforgettable journey of discovery, Rose uncovers life-altering truths about the city she’s in, the people around her … and ultimately herself.

Our Review Panel says...

I have read and enjoyed all of Vashti Hardy’s earlier books, but this one is something really special. There is something about it which is deeper and richer, and I absolutely loved it. Dealing with what it means to be human and to be part of a family (and to have a pet), this story presents a view of the future when humans have failed to take care of the world and humanoids have felt forced to take over.

Rose is a wonderful heroine, confused and lost in every sense of the word. Her puppy, North, is a faithful companion of the best kind. The scenario is terrifying, the sense of isolation palpable. The villains are infinitely more complex than mere baddies, which is saying something for robots! I also really enjoyed the addition of not only real-life figures, such as Ada Lovelace,  but also real plays and musicals, such as West Side Story.

This book would make a fantastic read-aloud for upper KS2; I can just imagine the groans when the teacher stops reading. I enjoyed it so much I read it in one go and now I cannot wait to see what Vashti Hardy does next!

North and the Only One

north and the only one

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