'I hate Frozen Billy - his painted, staring wooden eyes, the way his eyelids click when Uncle Len pulls a string, his long thin legs and his bright red wooden mouth . . . '
Clarrie and Will live with their Uncle Len - a brilliant ventriloquist in the nearby music hall. But though Len loves his act almost as much as he loves his beer, Top Billing is out of his grasp until Will thinks up a way to double the drama with a new act and some extraordinary new patter that he and Frozen Billy can share on stage.
It's a grand idea, hatched in hope and excitement. But, to Clarrie's horror, soon it begins to turn terribly sour . . .
Anne Fine's novel combines her trademark humour, engaging characters and flawless prose to produce a spooky adventure set in the late-Victorian world of the music hall.
Anne Fine has been an acknowledged top author in the children's book world since her first book was published in the mid l970s, and has now written more than forty books and won virtually every major award going, including the Carnegie Medal (more than once), the Whitbread Children's Award, the Guardian Children's Fiction Award, the Smarties Prize and others. The Children's Laureate from 2001-2003, Anne is also very funny and young readers love her lack of hypocrisy about the family and her honesty about how people can behave.She lives in the North-East. 'One of the sharpest and most humorous observers of the human condition writing today for the young' School Librarian u> She is translated into 26 languages and has regularly won every major children's literary award in the land, including the Carnegie Medal twice and the Whitbread Children's Novel award twice . . . There are few more influential, or more unfailingly intelligent, authors at work' Scotsman 'A subversively wicked gift for exploring family tensions' Independent