Norah's Ark

Norah's Ark

By Author / Illustrator

Victoria Williamson


Family & Home

Age range(s)



Neem Tree Press Limited




Paperback / softback




Two very different lives. One shared hope for a brighter future. No time to waste.  The flood is coming...

11-year-old Norah Day lives in temporary accommodation, relies on foodbanks for dinner, and doesn't have a mum. But she's happy enough, as she has a dad, a pet mouse, a pet spider, and a whole zoo of rescued local wildlife to care for.  11-year-old Adam Sinclair lives with his parents in a nice house with a big garden, a private tutor, and everything he could ever want. But his life isn't perfect - far from it. He's recovering from leukemia and is questioning his dream of becoming a champion swimmer.

When a nest of baby birds brings them together, Norah and Adam discover they're not so different after all. Can Norah help Adam find his confidence again? Can Adam help Norah solve the mystery of her missing mother? And can their teamwork save their zoo of rescued animals from the rising flood?

Offering powerful lessons in empathy, Norah's Ark is a hopeful and uplifting middle-grade tale for our times about friendship and finding a sense of home in the face of adversity.



Adam Sinclair lives in a lovely house. He has a huge treehouse to himself, a private tutor, plenty to eat and loving parents who dote on him. However, since his recovery from Leukaemia, his overprotective mother wants to keep him safely at home so he is not able to make friends or return to the swimming which he loves.

Norah Day lives in temporary accommodation with her father, often having to rely on foodbanks when their money runs out. She has a warm relationship with him, happy when he’s happy and constantly trying to rescue any creature in need she comes across.

These two very different children come together to save a nest of baby birds, forging a strong bond which allows each to find the strength to act when disaster strikes. Told through the alternating viewpoints of the two children, Norah's Ark is a very special, heart-warming book. It is impossible not to feel the greatest empathy for Norah as the reader experiences the difficulties and dangers she faces daily - yet she is resilient, loving and determined no matter what life throws at her. Her circumstances are explored with great sensitivity and skill - perfect for encouraging discussions. The title is perfect too! Adam’s experiences are completely different and yet, he also invokes our sympathy. A fellow animal lover, his guilt for having caused his parents anxiety over his illness prevents him from returning to the 'normal' things he wants to do.

There is so much which could be said about this life-affirming, beautifully empathetic and sensitive book, but my best advice to people is to read it! I loved it and am sure everyone who reads it will agree.

304 pages / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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