Paula Harrison is back with the next book in the action packed ‘Robyn Silver’ adventure series. I loved ‘The Midnight Chimes’ and ‘The Darkest Dream’ is equally as entertaining. The boldest, brightest new heroine has returned: and Robyn Silver’s life hasn’t got any quieter since defeating the evil vampire Pearl in The Midnight Chimes. She’s now a fully fledged Chime Child and monster-hunter-in-training alongside best friends Aiden and Nora. The three suddenly start seeing nightmares – in the form of black beetles – appear around town. Who wants the people of Grimdean to be losing sleep – and why?
To celebrate the release of ‘The Darkest Dream’ I have a special guest post from Paula Harrison about sibling relationships.
Sibling relationships: Why I wanted to write about a family with five children in Robyn Silver: The Darkest Dream – Paula Harrison
Robyn Silver is the third in a family of five children and describes herself in the first book as “being smack in the middle, like the meat in a sandwich”. I decided to set up her family this way for several reasons. I knew writing about a large family would be great fun. My dad was also one of five and the tales he told of sibling rivalries and general mischief helped to inspire the Silver family. The chaos and disorganisation in the Silvers’ house is magnified by the number of children and this works well for the plot. Robyn has to deal with familiar family issues such as competition for the bathroom alongside her monster-fighting duties. I wanted to weave in the fantasy and gothic elements of the story with the everyday to make the story more real to the reader.
There are books with large families that helped to provide inspiration for the Silvers too. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is probably one of the best known. So many readers have come to know and love the close relationship between Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy. Louisa May Alcott draws their different personalities beautifully and shows us how they comfort and annoy each other as siblings do. She also shows how the differing ages of the girls effect their bond – how the youngest can become frustrated by their role as the baby and how the older ones can be patronising and impatient.
A more modern story that also features four sisters is The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall. This story has lots of hilarious moments and the delineation of the different sisters’ personalities is spot on. In The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper, Will Stanton is the youngest of six children and the contrast between the everyday goings-on in the Stanton household with the fantasy plot brings the book alive. The sibling bond is one of the first relationships that many children form. It’s also one of the most rewarding and most fraught relationships there is. Young readers love to recognise their own experiences in stories and I hope many recognise Robyn Silver’s relationship with her brothers and sister in Robyn Silver: The Darkest Dream.
Paula Harrison is a best-selling children’s author, with worldwide sales of over one million copies. Her books include The Rescue Princesses series. She wanted to be a writer from a young age but spent many happy years being a primary school teacher first.
To find out more about Paula you can visit her website or follow her on Twitter @P_Harrison99
Thank you to Paula for stopping by the blog and to Olivia and Scholastic for my copy of this fabulous book.