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Visit Victorian Scotland with Barbara Henderson

A photo of the author Barbara Henderson
The book cover of Punch, by Barbara Henderson

Our author of the week is Barbara Henderson

Have you ever been in the wrong place at the wrong time? That's exactly what happens to 12-year-old Phin in Punch by our author of the week, Barbara Henderson. For this week only, you can read the book completely FREE as well as watch a video about Barbara's new Viking story The Chessman Thief and read a Q&A!

If you enjoy reading this book, your local library service has loads more ebooks to borrow for FREE. Ask your parents to help you join.

And for more reading fun including book recommendations, mini challenges, games and more, why not sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge

Watch the video

Barbara Henderson - Author of the week

Barbara Henderson's recommended reads

The Executioner's Daughter by Jane Hardstaff

This story completely immersed me in Tudor London! A fantastic example of how history and just the right amount of magic combine in a compelling story. I really wish I had written this one!

Black Powder by Ally Sherrick

Why had no-one written a book about the Gunpowder plot before? Sky-high stakes, prejudice, a race against time and a mysterious stranger - what's not to love?

Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver, illustrated by Geoff Taylor’

Sometimes the less we know the better! Paver's imagination had free rein as there is so much we do not know about the Stone Age. Detailed world-building and an animal sidekick to die for - I loved the whole series!

Q&A with Barbara Henderson

If you could be a storybook character, who would you be?

I will have to say Mrs Weasley in the Harry Potter books - I hate housework, so the idea of using magic to do all of that really appeals! I also love that she can be a bit bossy, but she means well, is her own woman and is fiercely loyal to the ones she loves.

What is the best thing about reading?

Reading is magic! Black marks on white paper can set off a head-cinema in your imagination. As a child I had a serious accident and had to stay in bed with weeks of pureed food. But through books I could sail the seas, ride a Derby winner, save the world. It's awesome when you really think about it!

What is your all-time favourite book?

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. That book made me a reader.

What can you do to get better at reading?

Choose books with short chapters and find stories you are really interested in, then it won't feel like hard work! Even better, choose to read the same book as a friend. Then you can chat about it!