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The Unstoppable Letty Pegg

Book Synopsis

The story of the suffragettes with the Jiu Jitsu and roller-skating left in… this impeccably researched debut novel from Iszi Lawrence shows the fight for women’s suffrage as it really was.

Lettice Pegg’s father is a working-class policeman and her mother is a middle-class suffragette. Stuck between them (and her terrifying grandma) as they argue, Lettice mostly cares about trying to fit in at school and convincing her parents to let her have roller skates and go to the music hall. But, when Lettice sees her mother brutally thrown to the ground by a policeman while on a protest march, her life changes forever. Not all of the women on the march are vulnerable to attack. Some of them have a secret weapon: Jiu Jitsu.

As the suffragettes welcome Lettice to the fight back, things at home go from bad to worse. Can Lettice bring her family back together and keep her new friends?

Our Review Panel says...

The year 2018 marked the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which gave some women the right to vote for the first time, after a long struggle. This anniversary was marked by the publication of a number of books, both fact and fiction, for children and titles continue to appear. This is of course, an important subject and the issue of rights, activism and standing up for your beliefs is one which is still as valid today.

At nearly twelve, Letty Pegg is more concerned with fitting in at school and trying to persuade her parents to let her have roller skates than any problems which might be caused by the fact that her mother is a suffragette and her father a policeman. Apart from her grandmother’s disdain at both her mother’s support of the cause and at Mr Pegg for being lower class, this has not caused conflict before in the family. However, when Mr Pegg tries to prevent his wife from taking part in a demonstration which he knows will turn violent (to become known as Black Friday), she attends secretly and Letty too becomes caught up in it. Rescued by a suffragette using jiu-jitsu skills, Letty finds herself further drawn into the movement, as her mother slowly recovers from injuries sustained on the march. Training at the dojo becomes the highlight of her week, as Letty also fights to keep her family together.

Letty is a likeable, spirited heroine, whose attempts to negotiate friendships will strike a chord with readers, with the book also providing insights into Edwardian schooling and class divisions alongside the struggle for the vote. It is a rich mixture and ambitious in content for the intended audience, so for most young readers it will benefit from some additional explanations of or discussions around the historical background. Hopefully, readers will be interested in carrying out their own research to find out more.

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The Unstoppable Letty Pegg: Teacher Notes

A resource pack provided by the publisher to accompany the book The Unstoppable Letty Pegg.

The Unstoppable Letty Pegg

the unstoppable letty pegg

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