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Book Title: Diamanten i Drury Lane|
The author of the book: Julia Golding
Date of issue: 2008
ISBN 13: 9788711312216
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 5.69 MB
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Reader ratings: 3.5
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This story is part of a series which includes: "Cat Among the Pigeons", "Den of Thieves", "Cat O'Nine Tails" and "Black Heart of Jamaica".
An orphaned 12-year-old girl named Catherine 'Cat' Royal lives in the Theatre Royal in late 18th Century London. The owner of the theatre (Mr Sheridan) took her in and named her Cat Royal who becomes a mascot, maid-cum-runabout to the theatre, tidying, acting as a prompt during shows etc.
Cat overhears Mr Sheridan and a man named Marchmont talking about hiding a diamond in the theatre, this thus starts the problem which spans the entire novel 'Where (or who) is the diamond?'.
This story is written from Cat’s viewpoint as a child who knows she was unwanted, but feels privileged to lead a life behind the scenes of the theatre, running errands, watching the best shows and plays in London and sleeping amongst the costumes in the attics.
After an accident with one of the props, Cat ends up dangling from the platforms above the stage. Pedro, a young black boy who has a genius for the violin, saves her life but then runs off, Cat goes to find him and they run into a local gang of criminal boys led by Billy ‘Boil’ Shepherd– but attracts some punishment herself. Cat is gutsy and charming, and also pragmatic – in that she shrugs off life’s injustices as something she must put up with.
The story extends to the filthy alleyways and markets of London which is Cat’s playground. She mingles with the high and low of society, from actors to the lords and ladies in the stalls to the barrow boys in the grimy marketplace. The tale is packed with local colour and authentic detail. There is, of course the mystery of the diamond to be revealed too.
I found this story and Cat’s characterisation delightful, and an excellent introduction to historical fiction for young people. Highly recommended.
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Read information about the authorMy journey to becoming an author has been a roundabout one, taking in many other careers. I grew up on the edge of Epping Forest and was that dreamy kind of child who was always writing stories. After reading English at Cambridge, I decided to find out as much as I could about the wider world so joined the Foreign Office and served in Poland. My work as a diplomat took me from the high point of town twinning in the Tatra Mountains to the low of inspecting the bottom of a Silesian coal mine.
On leaving Poland, I exchanged diplomacy for academia and took a doctorate in the literature of the English Romantic Period at Oxford. I then joined Oxfam as a lobbyist on conflict issues, campaigning at the UN and with governments to lessen the impact of conflict on civilians living in war zones - a cause about which I still feel very passionate.
Married with three children, I now live in Oxford between two rivers, surrounded by gargoyles, beautiful sandstone buildings and ancient trees.
My first novel, 'The Diamond of Drury Lane', won the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize 2006 and the Nestle Children's Book Prize 2006 (formerly known as the Smarties Prize). I was also chosen by Waterstone's in 2007 as one of their 'Twenty-five authors for the future'. In the US, 'Secret of the Sirens' won the honor book medal of the Green Earth Book Award.
My latest series, which starts with Mel Foster and the Demon Butler, about an intrepid Victorian orphan who lives in a household of monsters, won Bronze in the Primary Teacher awards in 2015. The next part, Mel Foster and the Time Machine, has set the time-dial to arrive in 2016.
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