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Sapphire Battersea is the second of three books in the Hetty Feather series by Jacqueline Wilson. The books are:
1. Hetty Feather
2. Sapphire Battersea
3. Emerald Star
I actually picked up the third book in my library recently, not realising at first that it was one of a series, I decided to read it anyway and when I finished I was eager to read the previous two books as it was really enjoyable.
Sapphire Battersea was published in 2011. It is illustrated by Nick Sharatt, the illustrations in the series of books are simple silhouette style and although I don't find them too interesting, they break up a long book a little, which may well interest the children who the book is aimed at. This series is aimed at 8-12 year olds but I think there is no upper age limit on this book and that it would be enjoyed by children and adults alike. There are a few difficult words and some of the content may be a little confusing for younger readers, though they may need a little help.
The RRP of this hardback book is £12.99.
The 3 books are the memoirs of the character Hetty Feather so are written from her prospective. Hetty was the name given to her at the foundling hospital, which is where orphans and children born out of wedlock were handed over and brought up.
Hetty lived with a foster family until she was 5, then returned to the hospital to live and go to school.
In this book Hetty has turned 14 which means it is time for her to leave the hospital and go out to work. A governor in the hospital who Hetty became friendly with has found her a job as a servant for a man called Mr. Buchanan.
Hetty is very naive, the education at the hospital was poor and she is an opinionated girl who doesn't seem to fit in anywhere. She thought she had been placed with Mr. Buchanan as he is an author and might give her some help with her own writing, but in reality it seems they had to beg him to take Hetty as a servant as nobody else would employ such a small frail girl.
Hetty will be working with other help in this fancy new home, Mrs. Briskett and Sarah, who are not going to give her an easy time. Hetty had already decided that when she left the hospital it would be the start of her new life and she wanted to use a new name, Sapphire Battersea, the name her birth mother chose. Mrs. Briskett and Sarah think the name is too fancy and tell her she will be called Hetty and that is that. They laugh at her lack of knowledge and scold her for making mistakes. You really find yourself feeling sorry for Hetty as she is often getting told off for not knowing how to do something but she has never been shown. It seems she really does want to learn but this doesn't go down well either as people think she asks too many questions and find her cheeky. It seems she cant win!
It soon settles down and it seems the others like her the more they get to know her, she has one admirer in particular, Bertie the butcher boy. He is another cheeky one, he is a bit of a smooth talker and soon persuades Mrs. Briskett to allow him to take Hetty out each Sunday. The two of them have such innocent fun, walking, going to the fair and going rowing but Hetty cant help but feel a little guilty as it is obvious Bertie wants her to be his sweetheart but she cant stop thinking about her foster brother Jem and their plans to marry which they made years ago as little children. This part of the book is also really well done, it is a lovely young love story and it is really sweet to feel like you have gone back in time and their dates are so innocent it is enjoyable to read.
Before long Hetty has a huge argument with her employer Mr. Buchanan, afraid she will be sent back to the Foundling hospital, Hetty soon runs away to try and reunite with her birth mother and make a new life for herself. She meets plenty of interesting new people along the way and their are lots of interesting parts in the story.
Unfortunately this book also has a really sad story as well and it is really quite an emotional read at times. I thought it was a fantastic book, as were all 3 of the books in the series and they come highly recommended from me. They are full of interesting and engaging characters and should appeal to a wide audience of readers.
Despite having just turned 20, I couldn't resit 'having a peak'- which turned into me borrowing it from the library for a week. I have been reading Jacqueline Wilson for as long as I can remember and would recommend her books to everybody and anybody; boys or girls, young and old.
Reading her books as an adult is just as enchanting, plus you tend to see things from a slightly different perspective .
As always the themes chosen are those which other authors wouldn't dare to tackle, however Wilson does it with an open mind, an honest word and always keeps the reader interested.
Her writing is magnificent and in my opinion it could be read by anybody over 13, mainly due to themes, rather than the difficulty of the language.
Jacqueline Wilson was the reason I read as a child and I haven't stopped since. This was one of those books I simply couldn't put down, there was always something going on, but not too much so you get side tracked from the main story.
I would most certainly read this book again and by it as a gift for family this Christmas!
As my role as Librarian in a local secondary school, I often pick up and read the books and authors that are currently popular. Sapphire Battersea by Jacqueline Wilson is one such book.
Sapphire Battersea is a funny and moving novel set in the Victorian era and features Hetty Feathers who is a Foundling Hospital girl and was given her name when she was left there as a baby. The book goes onto chart Hetty's life as she tries to become a successful author under her birth name Sapphire Battersea and the trials and tribulations she is faced with. Many of the characters from the first book appear in the sequel such as Hetty's mother, Ida Battersea who after she was fired from the Foundling Hospital becomes a housekeeper in the seaside town of Bignor.
The book is the second part of the Hetty Feather trilogy which was published in 2009. Sapphire Battersea continues from where Hetty Feathers finished, Hetty has been discharged from the Foundling Hospital and has begun her career as a scullery maid for Charles Buchanan who is also a writer like Hetty. Things turn sour between Mr Buchanan and Hetty when she finds he has been plagiarising her work and he has written a manuscript of her memoir in his office. Hetty is fired from her employment and goes in search of her mother in Bignor.
Unfortunately things go from bad to worse for Hetty when she discovers her mother is very sick with tuberculosis and later dies. Hetty is devastated to realise that she is now truly an orphan but hears her mother's voice in her mind informing her that her father is still alive. The book ends with Hetty deciding that she plans to find her father.
Jacqueline Wilson has never been an author to shy away from tough subjects and I feel that once again she has tackled illness and death of Hetty's mother with sensitivity and in a language that a young person will relate to.