The Mystery Of Wickworth Manor By Elen Caldecott
Publication Date: 5th July 2012
Available in paperback original and eBook format
‘Funny . . . poignant . . . hilarious’ Julia Donaldson on Operation Eiffel Tower
Elen Caldecott excels at writing contemporary adventures that tap into issues faced by modern children. In The Mystery of Wickworth Manor she delivers an exciting adventure with lots of humour and action, which also explores the history of the slave trade.
Paige Owens, bright, cheeky, confident, cannot wait to go to secondary school. Curtis Okafor, wary and much less confident, is not so sure. The only thing they share in common is the first letter of their surnames, which ensures they are forced into each other’s company on a school trip to Wickworth Manor, the local stately home.
On his first night at Wickworth Manor, Curtis finds a portrait in his bedroom of a young black servant. Why is the portrait hidden in the bedroom, and not in pride of place alongside the other portraits in the manor? Then Paige finds an intriguing letter, written over 200 years ago by Miss Verity Burton, who used to live at the Manor, that mentions the portrait. There is a mystery begging to be unravelled! So Paige and Curtis, in their very different ways, start work to find out what happened all those years ago . . .
Elen Caldecott graduated with an MA in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa University. At the end of the course she was highly commended in the PFD Prize for Most Promising Writer for Young People. Before becoming a writer, she was an archaeologist, a nurse, a theatre usher and a museum security guard. It was while working at the museum that Elen realised there is a way to steal anything if you think about it hard enough. Elen either had to become a master thief or create some characters to do it for her – and so her debut novel, How Kirsty Jenkins Stole the Elephant, was born.
Elen’s books have been nominated for the Branford Boase Award, the Carnegie Medal and the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize as well as 18 regional awards including the Sheffield Children’s Book Award, for which she was Highly Commended, and The Lennoxlove Author Award, which she won. Elen lives in Bristol with her husband, Simon.
Also by Elen Caldecott: How Kirsty Jenkins Stole the Elephant, How Ali Ferguson Saved Houdini and Operation Eiffel Tower.
PRAISE FOR OPERATION EIFFEL TOWER:
‘Perfect for Jacqueline Wilson fans’ The Bookseller
‘Elen Caldecott has written a light and funny story without trivialising or sensationalising a difficult subject. She avoids merely tackling an issue and instead has produced a very readable and warm story’ The Scotsman
‘One of the strengths of Elen Caldecott’s breezy stories for 7 – 11s is that they show successful unconventional families’ Sunday Times
‘This down-to-earth story reflects on the increasing problem of family break-up and its effect on children. While there is no happy-ever-after sentimentality, the conclusion is beautifully done. A skilful coming-to-terms read for confident readers age 12+’ Irish Examiner
‘Warm, funny and bitter-sweet’ Teach Primary
PRAISE FOR HOW ALI FERGUSON SAVED HOUDINI:
‘Elen Caldecott’s second novel is a perfect example of the kid detective genre. The core mystery is satisfyingly plotted, with the clues coming at the right pace. The level of threat is well judged, and the dialogue salty and smart’ Financial Times
‘Full of humour, nail-biting situations and a cast of credible characters, this is one of those rare books that, once begun, will not be put down until the last page has been read’ Irish Examiner
‘There is an old-fashioned, almost Blyton-esque charm to this fun detective story’ Angels & Urchins
‘Elen Caldecott has done it again! Hard to believe she’s managed another book as amusing and insightful as How Kirsty Jenkins Stole the Elephant, but here it is!’ The Bookbag
‘A kind of Famous Five – minus one – except more pc and more working class and up-to-date’ Bookwitch
PRAISE FOR HOW KIRSTY JENKINS SAVED THE ELEPHANT:
‘Its ingenious ideas, humour and clear, unfussy style keep the pages turning speedily to the feel-good conclusion, which is moving without being mawkish. It will prompt the most enjoyable tears’ Sunday Times
‘This is a funny, lively and touching book . . . Caldecott has created a thoroughly modern heroine in Kirsty Jenkins’ Observer
‘Caldecott weaves two complex themes into her humorous, action-packed plot with sensitivity and a light hand . . . it is vigorously and freshly imagined’ Books for Keeps
‘This is a beautiful book that had me laughing and crying throughout. An absolute must read’ Liz Kessler for Junior Education