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Spellhorn - Berlie Doherty

Berlie DohertyLaura is Sam`s best friend. She lives in a house at the end of the valley. Their village is attacked by unknown arsonists and Sam`s house is burnt to the ground as is much of the village.

Laura "sees" things through her sesnes. She is blind but sees things which most others cannot. She can hear wild horses and Laura is determined to go and find the men and their wild creatures.

One day Sam wakes up to see Laura being borne away down the hillside on an unicorn. But Laura did not see Sam. Behind her is blackness and ahead of her is the brilliant sky flashing with stars and the moon which looks like a deep white pool.

Laura has been hurled into a magical world. Here she meets the Old Woman and the Wild Ones, Sloe, Fastfoot and Woodfetch. The Wild Ones are in search of the Bright Wildreness but they can only reach it with Laura`s help.

But can Laura lead them to safety? And more importantly can she forget her family and her best friend, Sam and her dog, Queenie? Will Laura ever return to her own world? Berlie Doherty began writing when she was invited by the local BBC (Radio Sheffield) in 1978 to write some stories for use in schools. She eventually began to send these to publishers and they became her first books. She has written many children`s books which include The Snake- stone, Tough Luck , Street Child and Dear Nobody.

Spellhorn Excerpt : Laura looked out again at the low fires. All the Wild Ones had crept away into

tree holes and hiding places under bushes. Spellhorn stood alone, his head lowered, his front foot pawing the earth. The moonbats drifted without a sound above him, casting an eerie white glow on to his back. The hornless ones moved in shadows, circling him. "Spellhorn! Take strength!" Sloe breathed.

But Laura closed her eyes." If Spellhorn wins,"she thought,"the Wild Ones will go on to the Wilderness, and take me with him. But if he loses, they`ll have to stay forever in these Bad Woods. And I`ll be free!"

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