Written by Natasha Farrant
Publishing June 2020 by Faber Children’s

“Reading gives us a place to go when we need to stay where we are.” (Mason Cooley) Never has this statement been more relevant and necessary.

With the Sparrowhawk I went on an incredible journey through England and across to France. A journey with Ben and Lotti, 2 dogs and with an endless supply of friendship, help and adventure!

Both Ben and Lotti are orphans with a re-defined sense of family and a different understanding of what family could be. They are both reeling from personal losses since the war and both searching for someone lost during the conflicts.

An instant bond is formed with the unexpected arrival of Lotti and stolen dog Federico. Circumstances continue to force Lotti and Ben to spend more time together with their dogs. As questions and concerns are raised by officials in the village, the pair decide to run away, or should I say “sail away” on Ben’s narrowboat, The Sparrowhawk.

I loved the characters of Ben and Lotti- both independent, loyal and fiercely hopeful and brave! With a superb cast of characters supporting or thwarting the duo, this story will keep you reading long into the night.

Ben and Elsie, Lotti (after a drastic haircut) and Federico

At times it seemed the intrepid duo were doomed, a happy ending further and further away. This is the genius of Natasha Farrant’s writing. A lovely journey led by children, assisted by adults and with surprise arrivals throughout.

One of my top picks of 2020!

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