Friday, 12 November 2010


Bill Takes The Helm – Betty Bowen
FIFTEEN year old Bill Walton of Long Island, U.S.A., lives a
carefree, adventurous life sailing his beautiful shining boat off the
Sound, happy among his many friends, proud of captaining his school
football team. Suddenly Bill's mother dies, and everything is changed.
Bill decides to take his young sister Merrie to live with "Gram," the
grand¬mother he has never met, in a tiny Yorkshire fishing village.
Bill's sister Merrie falls sick on the Atlantic crossing, but even
worse, Gram is not there to meet them at Southampton! Bewildered and
homesick Bill finds his own way up to Yorkshire.
Whilst suddenly happy in their new home with Gram, Bill finds he is
unwelcome in the village and is looked upon as a "foreigner." He has
a tough time living down an early fight with local boys, Rolf, Tim
and Pete over the possession of a drifting boat he salvages and which
he hopes to repair and sail again himself.
How Bill lives down this first disas¬trous accident and takes part in
an exciting fishing expedition; how he passes his first strange and
frightening day at an English school and how he heroically rescues
his former enemies in a terrifying storm at sea, is all vividly
relived in this enthralling story of courage and high adventure set
against the authentic background of the storm-ridden, sea-battered
Yorkshire coast.

Huntrodd's Eye – Victor C. Brown
Set in Yorkshire, this a story about fourteen year old Kit. He is of
the Huntrodd family, the only one with that peculiar telepathic power
known as 'Huntrodds eye'. His journey ends in the smugglers' tunnels of
the village of Robin Hood's Bay. The old legends of the Bay take on a
terrifying life of their own.

Breakers by Julia Clarke
Adapting to life by the sea in Yorkshire is difficult for London-born
Cat and her sister Ana. Cat feels responsible for Ana - particularly
when the bullying starts. But she has her own life to sort out too. The
boy down the road, Sebastian, seems interested in her - but Cat
suspects his motives.

Smugglers All – W.Bourne Cook
18th century story of Yorkshire village where people make money by
fishing and smuggling. Hero is thirteen year old boy.

The Tale of Robin Lyth – Christine A. Jones
A young child is found on the beach near some fishing boats at the
North Landing of Flamborough, Yorkshire. Who he is or where he came
from no-one knows. He is taken in and raised by a fishing family and
becomes a notorious but brave and generous smuggler. He falls in love
with a pretty farmer's daughter whose family is reluctant to encourage
the match because of Robin's trade and unknown origins. Robin promises
to reform and prove himself worthy of her -- but too late, he is framed
for the murder of a coast guard and has to flee for his life. How he is
exonerated, the mystery of his birth and his quest to live "happily
ever after" is Robin Lyth's tale

Dog Friday – Hilary McKay
A beautifully written and hilarious introduction to Robin Brogan and
his friends at Porridge Hall. Robin Brogan lives peacefully with his
mother in one half of Porridge Hall, a big, old house on the Yorkshire
coast. And then the Robinsons move in next door, and Robin's life
becomes more evenful than he could possibly have imagined. The
Robinsons prove just as unusual and funny as their names. The twins,
Ant and Perry, vegetable loving Beany, Sun Dance and their scruffy
mongrel, Old Blanket, specialise in creating mayhem. They attempt to
entice guests in to Mrs Brogan's Bed and Breakfast, teach Robin how to
be brave, and, most importantly, help him work out how he can keep the
abandoned dog he finds on the beach...

Bandaberry- Laurence Meynell
A juvenile adventure thriller set on an island off the Yorkshire coast. David
Walker arrives on the island of Bandaberry.

The Highwayman's Footsteps - Nicola Morgan
This is a 2006 book which I have just read. The action purports to
take place on the North Yorkshire Moors, on two visits to Scarborough
and a fleeting return to Hexham where the hero comes from. The most
important events take place in Scarborough market and in a desperate
encounter in a back alley. The Hexham incidents reveal nothing about
the town that could not have been applied to anywhere. There is mention
of a real historical incident about a young soldier who was executed
for stealing flour that was used for powdering wigs. Similarly there is
mention of Hexham riots.

Nightingales Song - Kate Pennington
The setting is Whitby in the mid 1700s.Maggie Nightingale spends her
evenings singing in her father's tavern, the Anchor Inn, on the rugged
east Yorkshire coastline. The inn is a haunt for local ruffians,
thieves and smugglers, and Maggie overhears many a dark plan hatched
over ale at night. She never imagined that such plans could threaten
her very existence, and see her wrongly accused of murder. Togther with
notorious smuggling villain, Thomas Hague, Maggie's only escape from
public hanging comes in the form of a ship bound for America. The New
World. but will the shadow of death follow Maggie Nightingale across
the ocean, and haunt her for the rest of her life?

Room 13 - Robert Swindells
This is mostly set in Whitby. It gives an
account of a week's holiday spent in the seaside town by a party of 31
pupila from a school in Bradford. The story is mostly told from the
point of view of Fliss or Felicity who has a bad dream the night before
she goes on the trip and a nightmare experience during the week that
she is there. During the week various Yorkshire locations are visited
includings Staithes, Robin Hood's Bay and many well-known Whitby
landmarks including the Abbey and the famous steps.

Tom Travis - Nigel Thomas
Whilst vacationing with their parents on the east coast of England, Tom
and Simon Travis discover a maze of underground tunnels under an old
World War II gun emplacement. The tunnels have been constructed by the
Bridlington colony of an alien race, from the planet Pyzon. The Pyzons
are involved in a war with the people of the planet Tynax. The children
enlist the help of their father, a retired Royal Navy officer, who uses
his influence with the Ministry of Defence. The Royal Navy and Air
Force become involved in several underwater battles with the Tynax.
After a top secret, Area 51-style government communications base is
used to contact a Pyzon base on the moon, the action transfers to space
for the deciding encounter.

Wolf Girl - Theresa Tomlinson
This story is set in Whitby Abbey in the year before the Synod of
Whitby. Cwen, the weaver, is accused of stealing a valuable necklace.
That in itself would merit a severe penalty but there is worse. It
could be a royal necklace and in that case stealing it would be
treason and the punishment would be slow death. But Cwen's daughter
Wulfrun is determined to prove her mother innocent. And she finds
some surprising allies in the Princess Elfled, the novice monk
Adfrith and the cowherd/poet Cadmon. Their quest takes them to a
small fishing village and then to a hermit in a forest. But there are
those who do not want the truth uncovered and Wulfrun and her friends
eventually find themselves on a wild desperate flight to Bamburgh.
Whitby Abbey and its community are brought vividly to life both by
the author's descriptions and also by the useful little plan at the
beginning of the book. Right away this makes it quite clear that this
is a Celtic Abbey and not one of the better known medieval Roman
ones. For a start Hild's community contains both monks and nuns. The
everyday work of the little community can be easily imagined by the
reader. There is Adfrith in the scriptorium, Fridgyth with her herb
garden, Cadmon with his calves – and we share his pain when the blood
month arrives and they are killed.
The book just abounds with strong, independent female characters. To
name but a few: there is the Princess Elfled, wilful and imperious
but also courageous and determined, Wulfrun, courageous and
responsible beyond her fourteen years, and the abbess Hild herself
who rules her little community wisely and who wields power among the
greatest kings and princes in the land.
This story brings to life a period of English history which, sadly,
is too often neglected –– Anglo-Saxon times. The book has been
thoroughly researched and there is a note on the sources used ––
including of course Bede's History of the English Church and People.
And yet although so many scholarly works have been used the writing
is eminently readable.
In her note at the end the author has said that she decided to try
some mystery/adventure stories using Hild's abbey at Whitby for the

The Voyage of the Silver Bream – Theresa Tomlinson

A story of the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Waterway. Jack and Izzie's
father is the captain of a keelboat, the Dragonfly; that carries grain
from the River Humber, up the waterway to Sheffield Canal Basin, then
returns with a cargo of coal or iron goods. The new railway companies
threaten to put the keelboats out of business, so Jack and Izzie must
try to help their father save the Silver Bream.

The Summer People – John Rowe Townsend
Set during the summer holidays in a Yorkshire coastal resort just
before the outbreak of WWII.

A Sub of the R.N.R. – Percy F. Westerman

The first world war raid on Scarborough. A sub of the RNR.
The Voyage of the "Dauntless" - J.C.Western Holt
When his livelihood is threatened by the unscrupulous dealings of a
ship-owner the captain of a small cargo vessel decides to take action.
The owner pays him off in Hull and then replaces him with a captain who
is prepared to see one of his ships turned into a "coffin ship" for the
insurance money. A stowaway intervenes and saves the captain's life and
the two of them steer the ship back to Hull and rejoin the original
crew. At this point the good captain decides to take advantage of the
crook's plans and take over the ship himself. Believing it is lost, the
world does not realise that the honest crew have set out for Africa
under false colours.

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