Joshua was nearly eleven and he'd worked down the Blists Hill coal pit since he was seven and a bit. He hated it down there. He hated working in the dark, he hated the rats and the stink of the tunnels, and he especially hated it when the mine flooded and his wet boots rubbed his feet raw. Then on the day that Bradley the horsekeeper gave him another beating so bad he ached all over, he made up his mind to run away and find work on the Severn trows. But what would happen to poor Drummer, left behind in the dark? What would happen to his mum and sisters if he left them to the mercy of the evil Isaac Whitlock? And how could he sail to Bristol, when his dad had been set to work in the most dangerous part of the mine? Afraid of the river gangs and worrying about his dad, Joshua must decide whether to run for his life, or to stay in Coalport and try to protect his family.Historical Note Candle Dark describes the lives of children who worked in coalmines in England in the late 18th century, and the story is set in and around the Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire. At that time, Blists Hill was a remote mining community and the nearby village of Coalport was gradually acquiring commercial importance after the building of the Preens Eddy Bridge. Although the characters and events are imaginary, I have tried to reflect the working conditions, and the life of a family living in the Gorge at this time of rapid industrial growth - a period in history that was later to be known as the Industrial Revolution. Review by Sophy Corness - AuthorWant to find a brilliant children's book which will encourage your kids to read while offering a degree of historical accuracy? Check out this latest novel.So many children's stories seem to focus on transporting their readers into a fantasy world far away from reality, and that's fine. But there is a definite gap in the market for books for kids that offer a degree of historical accuracy.In 'Candle Dark', the latest children's book published and written by Shropshire-based author Carole Anne Carr, she has once again drawn from her wealth of experience as a primary school teacher to create a beautiful magical world set against a backdrop of what life was really like for children working in coal mines at Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire during the 19th century.This third book for pre-teens from traveller, poet, actor and artist Carole Anne Carr not only highlights the hardships of life down the mines for youngsters in that era but also follows the book's hero, Joshua, on an exciting adventure.Educational Teaching ToolsCarole truly understands the need for teaching tools in the form of historical books that will not only engage children but also encourage them to read for pleasure.After visiting plenty of historical sites with her school children, Carole said she was keen to use them as an extension of her classroom.She encouraged the children to create their own music, paintings, to write their own stories and poetry, and to make mathematical models, and all of these experiences have formed a basis for her novels.Like Carole's first book, 'First Wolf', this publication can be enjoyed by youngsters and adults alike, and offers a valuable teaching tool for those keen to learn more about life in the 19th century.Historical AccuracyI really enjoyed this superbly written and edited book. It proved to be very difficult to put it down! The story describes the lives of children who worked in the coal mines in England and although the characters and events are imaginary, Carole has tried to reflect the working conditions and the life of the family living in the Gorge at a time of rapid industrial growth.Carole has written two other novels for children, including 'Little Boy Good-for-Nothing and the Shongololo', based on her experiences in Africa, and 'First Wolf', which features a young Anglo-Saxon hero, Toland.Youngsters are once again transported to a magical world where they learn about truth, honesty and friendship coupled with a taste of what life was like in days gone by in a world where good always triumphs over evil.

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