By Author / Illustrator

Liz Hyder



Age range(s)



Pushkin Children's Books








Life in Bearmouth is one of hard labour, the sunlit world above the mine a distant memory. Reward will come in the next life with the benevolence of the Mayker. Newt accepts everything - that is, until the mysterious Devlin arrives. Suddenly, Newt starts to look at Bearmouth with a fresh perspective, questioning the system, and setting in motion a chain of events that could destroy their entire world. In this powerful and brilliantly original debut novel, friendship creates strength, courage is hard-won and hope is the path to freedom.



Newt has been living and working in Bearmouth from a tender age. Daily life in the mine is full of strict routine and a quiet acceptance of how things are - until, that is, Devlin arrives and starts to ask questions. Newt fears any unrest will bring heightened oppression from the Master and his overseers. Life is hard enough and there is no choice about that. Or is there? Newt is soon looking at Bearmouth with a fresh perspective - one that does more than whisper about change; one that is looking for a way out. I have to admit then when I started this it took a while to get used to the writing style and the language but after a very short time I found myself racing along with it and absolutely lapping up the dark world of Bearmouth where it's bleak, it's claustrophobic - but it's a wonderful place to find yourself now the nights are drawing in and the days are getting shorter. Inspired by the history of Victorian child labour in the mines, Bearmouth is a sophisticated, intelligent and original young adult read that needs to be put into the hands of your avid readers. It will definitely appeal to fans of Frances Hardinge. 320 pages / Ages 14+ / Reviewed by Lucy Georgeson, school librarian

Suggested Reading Age 11+


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