Rebecca Lisle
"A fantastical twist on a classic story."
Brightling – picture

A fantastical twist on a classic story.

Thrown out of the Knip and Pynch Home for Waifs and Strays, Sparrow is an orphan accompanied only by her loyal cat Scaramouch and a single clue to her real family. Sparrow travels to the town of Stollenback where, lost and afraid, she is taken in by Gloriana, a strange and colourful street girl. Sparrow thinks she has found a home in the ‘nest’ – a hideout for homeless girls run by the beautiful but menacing Miss Minter. Sparrow is taught to make matches and stay quiet, but all is not as it seems. And what does the vicious Tapper want with her?

As Sparrow uncovers a web of strange and suspicious secrets she finds herself at the heart of an undercover smuggling trade with a price on her head. Kidnapped and locked in the dark coal cellar, Sparrow’s dream of finding a family seems impossible.

A wonderful re-imagining of OLIVER TWIST, Sparrow’s adventure realises the dark secrets of Dickensian London with a fantastical twist for younger readers.

Publication Date: Thu 2 Jan 2014
ISBN Paperback: 9781471400575
ISBN Ebook: 9781471401046



Rebecca Lisle

Rebecca Lisle was born in Leeds and still feels in touch with her Yorkshire roots. She studied Botany at university and completed a PGCE at Oxford. She has lived in France, Australia and New York and had a variety of jobs - au-pair, nanny, waitress, secretary and personal assistant. Now, at last, she has the best job in the world being a full-time writer.

She has been writing ever since she could string together a sentence and in 2006 she was awarded a distinction for her MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.
Rebecca is married and, despite being tone deaf, has produced three lovely musical


She took a deep breath - here it was, the start of her new life. Stollenback. A large town, far away at the foot of Dragon Mountain. The name Dragon Mountain conjured up fairy-tales and times of mystery and danger - but she'd heard that there weren't any dragons on the mountain these days, only some sort of school or academy. She was heading to Stollenback because although most baby girls brought to the orphanage came with nothing - no name, no clothes except perhaps a scrap of blanket - Sparrow had arrived wrapped up in a fine, white shawl. The maker's name, Sampson's of Stollenback was woven into one corner of the square. It was all she had to go on. She didn't expect to find her parents - they wouldn't have left her at the orphanage if they'd wanted her - but maybe someone in Stollenback would know something about her true identity. Maybe someone there would be kind and give her work and a place to live. She had no other reason to go anywhere in the world. If she went in the opposite direction, north, she would have passed the Bleek and Barr Home for orphaned boys and come eventually to Nollenback, and trolls lived there. Sparrow swung her bag over her shoulder and dug her hands into the pockets of her small jacket, which pulled tightly across her shoulders. It wasn't long since she'd made herself the thick wool jacket and already it was too small for her. Where the lane rounded a corner, she stopped and looked back for a final sight of the Knip and Pynch Home. She was too late; it had already disappeared behind the trees.