Four stories for children about the modern day gypsy community!
The author of this exciting new series is here to talk to Ransom:
My first, and probably most obvious question to Rosemary was, What was your favourite part of creating these books?
“I’ve had such a great time researching these books, meeting gypsy families, finding out about their customs, about how they used to live in the past, when they travelled around the country following the farm work, and how they live now – some in houses, some in vans on sites – what work they do and their views on a variety of subjects. Not only were they generous with their time but members of the Gypsy/Roma/Travelling community also read drafts of the stories for me”
One of the highlights, she said, was visiting a gypsy horse fair:
“The brief from Ransom (the publishers) was to create a series of four books which would not only resonate with young members of the travelling community but also help gorger (non gypsy) children to understand more about travellers and break down barriers through accessible, exciting, plot driven stories.”
She had already answered my next question, why did you decide to write about such a unique topic?
So, How do you approach something so new?
“I decided to interweave the lives of four young people – two gypsies, Mike and Lizzie, and two non-gypsies, Tess and Ben. In this way I could tell it as it is, neither flinching from describing prejudices nor painting an entirely rosy picture of the travelling community.”
My final question to Rosemary is, What would you say to those who are still unsure about the books?
“The books are simply written, fast moving and dramatic and the characters are strong – real people with real flaws – to whom young readers will readily relate. Each book tells a different story and each stands alone, great for enthusiastic readers who want a whole series but equally accessible by those who are a little more reluctant.”
Ransom would like to thank Rosemary for all of her time and hard work, and we will leave you with a little taster of all four books:
Book 1 – Tess (978-178127-967-0)
Tess is pony mad and she secretly visits the gypsies and their horses. But when her secret is discovered, her friends shun her and her mum grounds her. How can she overcome their prejudice?
Book 2 – Mike (978-178127-968-7)
Gypsy boy Mike has been in trouble with the law so, leaving Tess in charge of the horses, he goes up North to work at Uncle Lash’s scrap yard, but someone there tries to blackmail him. Will he ever escape his past?
Book 3 – Lizzie (978-178127-969-4)
Lizzie’s time in Year 6 is coming to an end. All her ‘gorger’ (non gypsy) friends, including Tess, are going on to secondary school but Lizzie’s not allowed, so how can she follow her dream and go to art college?
Book 4 – Ben (978-178127-970-0)
Ben wants to be a professional footballer and when he’s not selected for the junior team his world falls apart. Then he’s offered work by the mysterious Blackwood and by the time he understands the nature of the work, he’s in too deep. When help comes, it is from the most unexpected quarter – from Mike, the gypsy boy he’s always despised.