The Secret Horses of Briar Hill

Megan Shepherd, Levi Pinfold

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill
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The Secret Horses of Briar Hill

Megan Shepherd, Levi Pinfold

An exceptional and moving novel about the power of stories and the imagination from the publisher of A Monster Calls. December 1941. Britain is at war. Emmaline has been evacuated away from the bombs to Briar Hill Hospital in Shropshire. When she gets there she discovers a secret. It’s not to be shared, not to be told to anyone, even her friend Anna. But she’ll tell you. This is Emmaline’s secret. There are winged horses that live in the mirrors of Briar Hill.

Exquisitely illustrated by Levi Pinfold, winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal, The Secret Horses of Briar Hill has all the makings of a modern classic.


This beautifully produced hardback book, with stunning illustrations by Levi Pinfold, portrays the imaginative world of childhood with incredible perception.

It is 1941 and Emmaline is in Briar Hill hospital, a home in the country for children who have tuberculosis. Emmaline has a secret and she won’t tell the other children, but she will tell us. Only she can see the beautiful winged horses hidden in the mirror in the old mansion and only she can communicate with them. One day a winged horse crosses worlds to hide in the garden of Briar Hill, recovering from a terrible blow to its wing. Emmaline races against time to protect the wounded horse, guided by letters from the enigmatic Horse Lord. But as she takes risks to hide the horse from the Black Horse chasing it, her health deteriorates and her world darkens.

This captivating novel is perfect for readers of wartime stories such as The War that Saved My Life and anyone who enjoys wonderful, imaginative storytelling. It deserves to become a contemporary classic and I highly recommend it for readers aged 10 and up.

Angela Crocombe is the Children’s Book Buyer at Readings Carlton.

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