There were three people, standing in the darkest place, watching him. Simon is outraged that his Mum plans to remarry. He can't bear her new fiance or the way his mother and sister seem to have forgotten his late father. Overwhelmed by hatred and anger he seeks solace in a nearby abandoned water mill. But another, powerful hatred lingers within its walls. And it is about to be unleashed...Westall's immense talent is evident from the opening line - Simon's anger and unhappiness are tangible, and the Scarecrows' ill-intentions terrifying.
Robert Westall was born in 1929 on Tyneside, where he grew up during the war. He went to the local Grammar School and then studied Fine Art at Durham University, and Sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. He worked as an art teacher in Cheshire and for the Samaritans. His first novel for children, The Machine Gunners, published in 1975, was an instant success and was awarded the Carnegie Medal. His books have been translated into ten languages, dramatised for television and he won the Carnegie again in 1982 for The Scarecrows, the Smarties Prize in 1989 for Blitzcat, and the Guardian Award in 1991 for The Kingdom by the Sea. Between 1986 until his death in 1993, he devoted himself to his writing.