Finding Hope

Finding Hope

By Author / Illustrator

Nicola Baker



Age range(s)



Simon & Schuster Ltd








The first book in a warm and beautifully observed farm adventure series from Nicola Baker, star of Our Farm in the Dales. Perfect for readers 8+ and fans of Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Dick King Smith and The Snow Foal. With stunning illustrations from Rachael Dean throughout.

When ten-year-old Ava moves to Whistledown Farm while her parents are working abroad, she must swap city life for mud, wellies and animals. But as one catastrophe follows another, will Ava learn to love life on the farm and find hope in nature? And can a very special little lamb show Ava that when all might seem lost, hope can be found...

'Baker is a gifted writer, and her bucolic adventure harks back to classic farm stories such as those written by Dick King Smith and Michael Morpurgo' The Bookseller

About the author:  Growing up, Nicola spent hours with her nose stuck in a book or filling notebooks with stories and sketches. After a successful career as a physiotherapist and raising two children she's now come full circle and is writing again.  Nicola lives on a smallholding with her husband and two children. When she's not mucking out chickens or feeding the sheep you'll find her writing adventure stories for children.


Natalie J

Finding Hope is the first title in the Whistledown Farm Adventure series, with Rescuing Ruby following this Autumn. Written by Nicola Baker from Channel 4’s 'Our Farm in the Dales', this lovely, engaging, heartwarming tale reminds me of farm-set stories by Dick King Smith and Michael Morpurgo, Anne of Green Gables, Heidi, and Lucy Daniels' Animal Ark series, with Enid Blyton-style mystery and adventure added for good measure.  Inspired by her farming experiences, Baker is a natural writer creating a highly readable and enjoyable story.

When Ava goes to stay with her Aunt, Uncle, and cousin on their farm, she realises what she is actually good at. Ava discovers she has an affinity with animals, especially after finding and nursing an ill newborn lamb, Hope. At times, Hope feels like her only friend as she deals with homesickness, jealousy and mistrust between her cousin and herself, and her own self-doubt. As she becomes accustomed to farm life, she notices mysterious happenings and uncovers a dangerous threat to the farm which she tries to resolve by herself.

Ava is independent, strong, brave, foolhardy, lacking in confidence, and very caring. She is a fierce, engaging, relatable heroine. The reality of farm-life and caring for animals is not shied away from - the fox attack on the chickens is especially devastating, but the thrill of incubating hatching chicks is equally absorbing.

This is a captivating, enjoyable read from a new writer who I think is going to become a big name in children’s literature.

304 pages / Reviewed by Natalie J McChrystal Plimmer

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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