The Closest Thing to Flying

by Gill Lewis

Ref: 16026

Shortlisted Little Rebels Award 2020

Two parallel lives which echo and weave in and out of each other: Semira and her mother live in present day England, their immigration status insecure, their living conditions unsafe; Hen, a child living in Victorian England, is suffocating under the conventions of her family but is introduced by her magical Aunt Kitty to new forms of self-expression and freedoms: animal rights activism, the struggle for women's suffrage and women's and girls' first forays into cycling. Discovering Hen's diaries, Semira is emboldened to embark on her own flights of freedom, discovering her skills as a cyclist but also discovering the strength and courage to take herself and her mum to a place of refuge. On being shortlisted for the Little Rebels Award 2020, Gill Lewis describes her protagonists as "two girls trying to find their place in the world and their own voices too". Age 9-13, Paperback 223pp