When Lukas Declercq is orphaned, his uncle summons him to Prague, a refuge for Europe's greatest alchemists and natural philosophers, offering to take him on as an apprentice. Uncle Anselmus is court physician to Rudolph II, the reclusive and unstable Emperor. He is also curator of Rudolph's bizarre Cabinet of Curiosities, a series of vast rooms stuffed with wonders and scientific marvels such as a nail from Noah's Ark, phoenix feathers and monstrous freaks of nature, which fascinate Lukas. As Rudolph retreats further into his fantasy world, the threat of rebellion hangs in the air. Dorantes, a diplomat from Spain, comes with his daughter, Celestina, on a mission from Philip II to persuade Rudolph to give up his heretical ways. But he discovers the court is full of diplomats who have been waiting months or years for an audience with the Emperor. Dorantes notices how some had wormed their way into the Emperor's favour by presenting him with fantastic gifts for his Cabinet, and sets about creating a device that he says will stop time. But it works only in the presence of the Emperor. Lukas knows the terrible truth behind Dorantes's mission. But sinister forces have plans for Lukas too, and before he can thwart the plot against the Emperor, Lukas must gamble on Celestina's loyalty in order to save his own life.
Sam escapes death in Australia when the truth about his false conviction is finally revealed. But on the journey back to England he faces pirates and a terrible storm, before making the longed-for trip back up the River Thames. Finally reunited with his family in Norfolk, Sam realises how much life at sea has become part of him. So when he hears that Napoleon plans to attack England, he is tempted to join the Navy once more, and finds himself Midshipman on none other than the Victory, preparing for one of the most epic battles in history: Trafalgar.
Alex lives in East Berlin. The cold war is raging and he and his family are forbidden to leave. But the longer he stays the more danger he is in.
Alex is no longer pretending to be a model East German, and the Stasi has noticed. They are watching him. Alex is told that further education will be blocked to him. His summer job is mysteriously cancelled, and friends begin avoiding him. His parents start to realise that leaving the East may be the only option left to them, but getting across the Wall is practically impossible. And even if Alex and his family make it to the other side, will they be able to escape the reach of the Stasi?
This is a tense, page-turning thriller that builds towards a terrifying showdown as powerful forces from the East and West converge. One false move will change everything for Alex and his family, for ever.
Sam is desperate to leave his sleepy Norfolk village and see the world. He seizes the chance to join a merchant ship but soon discovers that a life at sea is harsh and often short, especially when his ship is attacked by a French privateer. About to be boarded, they fear all is lost, but the privateers are driven off by the appearance of a Royal Navy ship. Sam's relief is short-lived. Soon after, another Navy ship sends over a press gang, and he is forced to join the frigate Miranda. War with France and Spain is raging and Sam is caught in the middle with a dangerous job as a powder monkey in the company of a brutal crew. An amazingly well-researched adventure giving a glimpse of one boy's incredible life at sea.
Sam fights in a fierce battle against the Danish Fleet, led by none other than Admiral Nelson himself, and against all odds victory is theirs. Peace is declared and Britain's war with most of Northern Europe is over. Sam can go home. But on the journey back, he witnesses a crime, for which he is framed. He is sentenced to death, but at the last minute this sentence is commuted to transportation to Australia. With petty thieves, vicious criminals, women and other children, Sam begins an eight month journey to the other side of the world, and a life of slavery in the harsh Australian interior. He knows that, against all odds, he must escape.
Russia, 1940. Fifteen-year-old Misha's life is about to transform when his father is offered a job in Stalin's inner circle. They move into a luxurious apartment in the Kremlin, but doubts about the glorious new Russia quickly surface. Misha realises that the secret police can do whatever they like. His own mother is arrested and sent to prison, but Misha and his father daren't complain. Then as German troops advance on Moscow, the atmosphere in the Kremlin ignites. Misha and a friend find themselves at the heart of a battle against the mighty state in this powerful evocation of one of the most turbulent places and periods of the 20th century, told by a master storyteller.
It is July 1945, Hitler's Third Reich has fallen, and Berlin is in ruins. Living on the edge of survival in the cellar of an abandoned hospital, Otto and his ragtag gang of kids have banded together in the desperate, bombed-out city.
The war may be over, but danger lurks in the shadows of the wreckage as Otto and his friends find themselves caught between invading armies, ruthless rival gangs and a strange Nazi war criminal who stalks them ...
A climactic story of truth, friendship and survival against the odds, Wolf Children will thrill readers of Michael Morpurgo and John Boyne.