More from this series
The Crooked Sixpence
A cracking, fast-paced, gloriously inventive middle-grade adventure, THE CROOKED SIXPENCE is the first part of the UNCOMMONERS trilogy.
Welcome to a world where nothing is quite as it seems.
A silver bell will tell you the way.
A candle’s wick will hide you.
And a CROOKED SIXPENCE will be the first warning . . . time is running out.
When Ivy Sparrow’s grandma Sylvie is rushed to hospital, Ivy and her big brother Seb cannot imagine what lies in store for them. Returning to Sylvie’s house, they find it has been ransacked by intruders, a floating feather has left a mysterious warning scratched into the wall and two police officers in peculiar uniform are on the doorstep waving . . . toilet brushes. Pursued by the officers, Ivy and Seb take the only escape on offer: jumping into a suitcase wielded by a strange boy who claims to be able to save them.
Suddenly they find themselves in the incredible city of Lundinor, a market beneath London where uncommon people trade in uncommon goods: belts that enable you to fly; yo-yos that turns into weapons. But Ivy and Seb soon find out that muckers (as commoners like them are known) aren’t welcome in this hidden world and with the revelation of a family secret as shameful as it is incredible, they realise that there is much more to Grandma Sylvie than she – or anyone – knows. With dangerous uncommon people closing in fast, and with a terrifying uncommon alarm clock counting down to the deaths of their parents, Ivy and Seb must find a way to get out, get home and get their parents and grandmother to safety before it’s too late.
UK/Commonwealth: Random House (Summer 2016)
USA/Canada: Crown, Random House (Fall 2016)
Denmark (Holst & Sons/Rosiante)
France (Albin Michel)
Germany (Arena Verlag)
Georgia (Bakur Sulakauri)
Lithuania (Alma Littera)
Portugal (Club do Autor)
The Best New Children’s Books
“The debut we have all been waiting for . . . Jennifer Bell’s thorough understanding of what children love to read strikes you from the opening page. There is magic in the plot, magic in the words and magic in the minds of everyone who is lucky enough to follow the irrepressible Ivy Sparrow into the extraordinary world of Lundinor. This is an unputdownable treasure of a book that sweeps you off on the adventures that you most long to be on, with characters that you will want as your closest friends, to places that you will never want to leave. If you really want an amazing summer holiday this year, pack this book.” —The Best New Children’s Books (an independent supplement by the Publishers Association) printed in the Guardian.
Jennifer Bell began working in children’s books as a specialist bookseller at Foyle’s on Charing Cross Road in London – one of the world’s most famous bookshops. There, she looked after the shop’s not-so-deadly piranha fish as well as recommending children’s books to celebrities, royalty and even astronauts. After enjoying the privilege of listening to children talk about their favourite books for many years, she started writing one of her own. Jennifer came up with the idea for THE CROOKED SIXPENCE while packing for a holiday, wishing she could just disappear inside her suitcase and be there already. The world of Lundinor is inspired by sayings from traditional English nursery rhymes as well as the stories Jennifer grew up with about the Cockney markets her grandparents used to visit. THE CROOKED SIXPENCE was published in the UK in June 2016 and in the US in January 2017. Book 2, THE SMOKING HOURGLASS, was published in the UK in June 2017 and will be out in the US in early 2018. Jennifer is currently working on Book 3, which will be out in 2018 (UK) and 2019 (US).