Sixteen-year-old Dolly Shepherd loves living life on the edge, and while her weekdays are spent working in her aunt’s Ostrich Feather Emporium, one weekend she seizes a thrilling opportunity – to parachute from a hot air balloon. It the first leap in what will prove a daring, dangerous and fulfilling career.
Karen McCombie’s story re-imagines the real adventures of the Edwardian aeronaut, from that first jump, through narrow escapes and disasters, as her profile as daredevil entertainer grows. It is an inspiring story that offers insight into life for young women of the era and showcases just how much can be achieved with courage and determination.
We enjoyed Anneli Bray’s characterful illustrations, especially her depictions of Edwardian style, and were fascinated by both What Dolly Did Next, and the author’s notes, which give fascinating extra depth to the story.
There are obstacles to overcome and plenty of tense and dramatic moments, but ultimately this is a story brimming with optimism, set to remind young readers that the sky is the limit when it comes to their ambitions.
The Girl with her Head in the Clouds, by Karen McCombie, ill’ Anneli Bray (Barrington Stoke)