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Young People

Books for younger readers

Children of the Dale


About this book:

  • ISBN: 978 190 452 4953 (paperback)

  • Published 2013

  • Special price £9.00 + postage

  • 106 pages

  • Illustrated with 10 original line drawings

About the Book:
Children of the Dale is a story based loosely on the author’s childhood during the Second World War in the dales of east Cumbria.
Set on a small farm, near Ravenstonedale, the adventures include two children, their cousins in neighbouring Mallerstang and the animals of the farm. Each chapter is a separate adventure with plenty of local characters and colour. This book captures the spirit and innocence of a bygone age.

The book is illustrated with ten original line drawings by Fiona Cartmell.

About the Author:
Elizabeth Hird, was born at Fell End, near Ravenstonedale, Cumbria. She attended Fell End School but left at the age of fourteen to look after her father and younger brother as her mother spent more than a year in hospital. Her family kept sheep and dairy Shorthorn cattle.
She was six-years-old when the Second World War broke out and remembers life clearly at Fell End before, during and after the war. She married Sydney Blenkharn who worked for many years as an agricultural salesman.
The couple have three grown up children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandsons. Elizabeth worked as an auxiliary nurse at the Cottage Hospital in Penrith and later ran a bed and breakfast business for 25 years. This is her first book.


Elizabeth Blenkharn was born and raised in the Eden Valley not far from Ravenstonedale and Mallerstang. I loved this book because her upbringing and background matches my own, even though I lived in the west of the county farming was always much the same. Children of the Dale is a story based loosely on the author's childhood during the Second World War. Each chapter is a separate entity with plenty of local character and colour, capturing the spirit and innocence of a bygone age. Set on a small farm, the adventures include two children, their cousins in neighbouring Mallerstang and the animals on the farm.
Aimed at primary school children, this reading book would grace any school library shelf. It will appeal especially to children who live in the Penrith and Eden Valley region because they are familiar with the places explored in the tale. It will also appeal to farming and country children who understand and love life in the countryside. The adventures will enthrall all these young readers and should hopefully encourage further reading.
I must congratulate Hayloft Publishers on their excellent choice of printing font and style which will attract young readers. For the same reason I must praise Elizabeth for writing in such clear and precise English which is both inviting and at the same time includes vocabulary which can challenge the children a little. The real hero of the story is Jack the border collie who child readers will love.
This is a lovely present for any child in the primary age group who is keen to read. I wonder why Elizabeth Blenkharn has waited so long to publish her first book - she has ability, imagination and stories to tell. I also love the illustrations by Fiona Cartmell, there should have been more.
Keswick Reminder, December 2013


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