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Books for young adults


cover - Please Don't GoPlease Don't Go

Bodley Head h/b,1972. ISBN 0-370-01243
p/b Transworld 1987 ISBN 0-552-52457-3
Back-to-Front 2007 ISBN 1904529321

A love story to break your heart, set in 1960s sea-side Brittany to the background music of ‘Ne Me Quitte Pas’, the famous French singer JACQUES BREL’s greatest hit.

Click to read sample chapter

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Letter received 2007

I just finished reading Please Don't Go for probably the fifth time. It is one of my all time favorite books…it affected me at a very deep level, and I am so utterly grateful that you wrote it.

I first read Please Don’t Go when I was about 16, about a year after my brother died. It helped me immensely through the period of grief that surrounds a tragic, unexpected death … I see so much of myself in Mary: her passions, her ability to read personalities and move among difficult types; her dislikes; her adaptability to her circumstances: her strong sense of self and her convictions. If I could tell you more about me, you would understand, but let's just suffice it to say that I've had my share of obstacles to overcome. I understand Mary Meredith very well.

I should wrap this up, but I just wanted to let you know how much this book has meant to me. We were watching "Matilda," the film based on Roald Dahl's book of the same name. My favorite line in the film takes place when Matilda begins her daily visits to the library and that discovers that through the stories she reads, she is not alone. It was as if the books were sent out like ships into the sea. Please Don't Go was, for me, a ship that took me away hurting, and brought me back home, whole.

Thank you….so very much.

Donna Christine Arnds, Pasadena, California, USA

Letter received 16 May 2013

Dear Ms. Woodford,

Having found your website, I couldn't resist sending you a note.

I discovered *Please Don't Go* in 1976, when I was a 16-year old high school senior.  I had been studying German and Russian in school, and was about to start studying French in addition when I read your novel.  I remember beginning an after-school job at Baskin-Robbins, an ice cream shop, and, upon receiving my first pay, I bought a Jacques Brel album (on vinyl, of course), just so that I could hear "Ne Me Quitte Pas."

From there: well, I specialized in French Lit at university, worked for the Moroccan airlines--but never went to Morocco, sadly--and then became a high school French teacher, which is what I do to this day.  I still love Jacques Brel, and, after having studied in Nantes and lived in La Turballe and spent time in Quimper, adore Brittany.

And without *Please Don't Go,* who knows?  My life might have been very different.  I thank you so much for having written a timeless novel that I still read with pleasure and for having introduced me both to Grand Jacques and to Brittany.

My very fondest regards and best wishes for your good health and happy days,

Roberta R. Newland, Seattle, WA, USA

cover - Backwater WarBackwater War

Bodley Head, 1974 ISBN 0-370-10936-8
Back to Front  2010 ISBN 978-1-904529-53-8

When the Germans occupied the Channel Islands  during World War 2,  seventeen-year-old Anna and her friends plotted the  ultimate act of resistance - escape...

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cover - See You TomorrowSee You Tomorrow

Bodley Head 1979 ISNB 0-370-30204-4

Julia’s happy family is torn apart by her father’s attempted suicide, and she finds help in an unexpected and heartwarming way.

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cover - Girl with a VoiceThe Girl with a Voice

Bodley Head, 1984 ISBN 0-370-30804-2

Love Me, Love Rome

Bodley Head, 1981 ISBN 0-370-30423-3


Two novels about Claudia, born with a fine voice.  She’s encouraged to train as an opera singer by her new boyfriend, Rod. She goes to Rome to study singing and learn Italian, where she meets someone else…

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Buy Love from Amazon

cover - Monster in our MidstMonster in our Midst

Macmillan, 1984  ISBN 0-333-47442-2
Transworld p/b 1989 ISBN 0552-52491-3

Two teenagers, feisty Kathy and lanky, shy Alan, fight to save their village from becoming the site of a nuclear waste dump.

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cover - Out of the SunOut of the Sun

Macmillan, p/b 1990 ISBN 0-333-497288-9

Life in postwar Guernsey ravaged by the postwar German Occupation is bleak for Nancy after being brought up in India. But as she comes to terms with her new life, she makes a discovery that transforms everything.

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cover - Blood and MortarBlood and Mortar

p/b Transworld 1994 ISBN 0-552-5277-2

Nick finds himself caught up in a nightmare, arrested by the police, locked in a cell, and charged with murder…

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Short Stories

As commissioning editor and contributor

The Real Thing

Bodley Head, 1977, h/b  ISBN 0-370-30018-1
Penguin 1979  p/b  ISBN 0-140 -47149-9
Collins Educational 1983  ISBN 0- 00 330002-1

Seven stories of Love. By A L Barker, Rumer Godden, Lynne Reid Banks,, Emma Smith, Rosemary Sutcliff, William Trevor, Peggy Woodford

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You Can't Keep out the Darkness

Bodley Head 1980  ISBN 0370302931

8 short stories by A L Barker, R M Lamming, Penelope Lively, Jan Mark, Wiiliam Sansom, John Wain, Robert Westall, Peggy Woodford

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Bodley Head, 1984, ISBN 0-370-30824-7
Methuen Teens 1985  ISBN 0-416-094672-7

8 stories by Jon Blake, Jane Gardem, R M Lamming, Penelope Lively, Emma Smith, Frances Thomas, John Wain, Peggy Woodford.

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