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Withering-by-Sea

by Judith Rossell (Author, Illustrator)

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A stalwart orphan sets out on a spine-tingling adventure in this wildly imaginative and darkly funny Victorian middle grade novel.

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A stalwart orphan sets out on a spine-tingling adventure in this wildly imaginative and darkly funny Victorian middle grade novel.

High on a cliff above the gloomy Victorian town of Withering-by-Sea stands the Hotel Majestic. Inside the walls of the damp, dull hotel, eleven-year-old orphan Stella Montgomery leads a miserable life with her three dreadful aunts. Stella dreams of adventuring on the Amazon—or anyplace, really, as long as it isn’t this dreary town where nothing ever happens.

Then one night Stella sees something she shouldn’t have. Soon she finds herself on the run from terrifying Professor Stark and his gang of thugs. But how can one young girl outwit an evil magician, much less rescue his poor, mistreated assistant?

With the help of a mysterious maestro, his musical cats, and a lively girl named Gert, Stella Montgomery sets out to do just that.

“I have been  an illustrator and writer of children’s books for more nearly 20 years. Before that, I worked as a government scientist (not a mad scientist, a normal kind of scientist) and also for a cotton spinning company (we made threads for t-shirts and denim jeans and mops and teabag strings). But what I love is drawing pictures, so I feel very lucky to be doing it as a job. I also like staying in bed in the morning, and then staying in my pyjamas all day.

I have written 12 books, (just now, I’m working on number 13), and illustrated more than 80. My books have been published in the UK, the USA and have been translated into nearly 20 languages.

I live in Melbourne, Australia, with a cat the size of a walrus.”