At the beginning of this story, I had three wishes: to have a dog, to stop living in our horrible house, and to have Dad home again. Having them all come true at once was to be my happy ending. I didn’t realise that meant there had to be a sad beginning.
When Jessie’s gran gets a white Alsatian puppy, it’s the start of a downward spiral of strange and worrying behaviour. But life at home is only half the problem – at school Jessie’s class is studying the rise to power of the Nazi party and soon Jessie starts seeing alarming parallels between modern life in her sleepy village and that of 1930s Germany. With one eye on the past and one on her ailing gran, Jessie starts to see a connection – something long-buried, troubling and somehow connected to another girl, and another white dog . .
A note from the author
‘I want ‘A Girl with a White Dog’ to free children from fear, and one of the most pernicious fears there is, is fear of ‘the other’, so prevalent in our media today. I want my book to be a story that they can lose themselves in, and emerge from, with a new way of looking at the world and those who are ‘not like’ them. Children will always have limited power to change their circumstances, but I hope my book will teach them that they (like us all) can choose the stories they believe in, and ultimately that can help to change their – and our world.’