This page is divided into two sections:
1. Books For Older Readers &
2. Books for Children
Please scroll down to find what interests you.
Books for Older Readers
'Create something fictional. Make sure it's fantasy. Put yourself in the story.' These are the three rules Alice Johnson insists on, when she sets up a writing club at a local care home. To her surprise, the group of six elderly friends need no assistance from her. They jump straight into the task, and what's more, they want to keep their stories hidden as they work, but why the secrecy? And why do they find it so easy to rise to the challenge? After all the stories have been shared at the grand reveal, will Alice ever be able to look at the real world in the same way again?
Read extracts from this book at my read-for-free page https://www.maggieholman.com/read-for-free/
"So cleverly written, it captured me all the way through. I could not stop reading. I loved Daisy's story the best but I found them all equally moving." (Loes van Willigen)
Four hundred years after the Great Flood of 1607, student Megan Wallace spends the summer in the Forest of Dean to investigate attitudes to the disaster, but as she begins her research, her rented cottage seems to be giving up some Great Flood secrets of its own. Why is there a reappearing puddle at the front door? Whose footsteps wake her in the night? As Megan searches for answers, the tragedy of the past entwines itself in the present, in a way which Megan will never forget.
"Great story, read it in one go. History blended with suspense. The story is supplied with the right amount of fear of the unknown and it all comes together at the end. I wanted to keep on reading. Beautifully written and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Looking forward to more from Maggie Holman!"
The Wishing Sisters
In this paranormal short story collection, each of the five stories is set against the backdrop of the Forest of Dean, a beautiful rural landscape in Gloucestershire. Read about why a young widow needed help from a mysterious visitor, how a deer culler got his comeuppance, why a young mother ran away to write names on trees, why a little girl used her healing powers and who was able to set a ghost child free. Each story uses the atmospheric forest like an emotional mirror, where landscape and feelings are intertwined.
Books For Children
Save the White Stag
In this second children's story set in the Forest of Dean, Caro is walking home, when she comes across a mysterious sheen along the edge of a fir tree branch. She's excited when she finds out that the shining indicates a visit from the magic white stag, which is rarely seen in the forest. By chance, Caro finds out that the stag is in danger and she feels it's up to her to save it. When her family and friends join in her rescue plan, how will the mystical 'old ways' of the forest help them? And what is the special gift that the white stag wants Caro to have? If you enjoyed 'Footprints in the Snow' (see below), find out how the same group of children work together in this challenging new adventure. This story is ideal for young readers of fantasy fiction and fiction which shows there's a little bit of magic in the real world. If you want a taster of the story, you can read Chapters 1 & 2 for free at this internal link to the 'Read for Free' page: bit.ly
'A delightful story that offers gentle fantasy and adventure and stimulates thought provoking discussions on many relevant topics. My students and I enjoyed reading this book together and speculating on what would happen next. The elements of kindness and caring resonated with our philosophy and the qualities we instill in our students. This is definitely our favourite Maggie Holman story.'
(Ingrid Elbertsen-Sirkin, 21st Century Global School, Haarlem, the Netherlands)
'I liked that the white stag left a shimmering silver trail and that Caro could see the trail and not see the trail from different perspectives. I also liked how Caro led the white stag into the cave. I really liked how the story was written. I could actually imagine what it looked like.'
(Vigo, aged 9)
'I really liked this story! I liked that Caro could speak to the white stag. I think this author has a lot of fantasy!'
(June, aged 8)
'I found the story very nice, especially the part when Caro went to the cave and Dora found the antler of the white stag. I also liked that Caro could speak to the white stag.
(Julia, aged 8)
Footprints in the Snow
In this Christmas adventure for Middle Grade children, ten-year-old Jamie goes to stay with his grandfather - his 'Grancher Pete' - in the Forest of Dean. Here he discovers that people are searching for a legendary panther. He also meets Caro, Finn and Molly, three traveller children who talk to animals. The forest is their playground and Jamie is amazed by their different outlook on life. When a heavy snowfall turns the landscape into a magical kingdom, Jamie sets off to find his new friends. He thinks he knows the forest well, but he soon becomes lost and wanders into danger.
No-one knows where he is. How will he get back?
Letters & art work from young readers:
Reviews for 'Footprints in the Snow':
"In Holman's tale, rumours of a panther prowling the forest's dark, overgrown paths help create a sense of suspense that makes this a book that can - no must - be devoured in an evening. Holman's way with her characters results in an ideal form of reading, one that is balanced between the urge to linger and the desire to move on."
- J P Gill, The Holland Times
"A neat tale well told, with a wonderful sense of place and great feeling for the way a child might deal positively with bereavement. I have only briefly visited the Forest of Dean for a holiday. I loved your evocation of it; clearly it was and is a special place for you. More stories set in it, perhaps revolving around the traveller children and Jamie visiting during school holidays, would be an excellent sequel (or two!)"
- Oliver Pointer
"I thoroughly enjoyed reading Footprints in the Snow. The subtle references that Jamie made to his Dad, even though he was always in the back of his mind, was reflected beautifully, leading up to the stronger connection at the end. It was a lovely balance of how families continue with life following a death without forgetting that special person. It was uplifting, engaging and a pleasure to read."
- Suzannah Phillips, Winston's Wish Charity for Bereaved Children, Gloucester, UK