Fiction & Drama
Lisa Rookes on the inspiration behind The Gallows Tree
Eve Ainsworth is a working class award-winning and Carnegie nominated children’s author who has written for both middle grade and teen readers. Her debut novel for adults, Duckling, was published by Penguin Random House in Spring 2022.
Eve has vast experience working as a public speaker and creative workshop coordinator for schools, libraries and other events both nationally and internationally. She also is an experienced mentor and is very passionate about helping those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Eve was born and raised in Crawley, West Sussex and is one of seven children. After her degree, she had a varied background working within HR and Recruitment roles, before landing a job she loved – mentoring and supporting challenging and vulnerable students in a large secondary school. This inspired her first teen book 7 Days. Eve is fiercely proud of her working class roots and her large, loud family. She still lives in Crawley with her husband, two young children and crazy pets.
A shy but talented footballer navigates challenging friendships and anxiety at school in this touching tale from acclaimed author Eve Ainsworth.
Lily always feels a little bit left out. Shy and anxious, she finds school really hard, particularly as most of the other girls all seem so confident. Most of the time, Lily wishes that she could just disappear. But during a game of football in PE, Lily’s teacher spots her natural talent and invites Lily to join the local girls’ team, where she starts to make friends with some of the other players. Finally, she thinks she’s found a place where she fits in, but will a vicious argument with one of her teammates put all her progress in jeopardy?
Duckling’s a nickname Lucy has never been able to shake off. And, if she’s honest, maybe it suits her. She just isn’t the type to socialise with other people. You might say she’s reluctant to leave her nest.
Lucy’s life is small, but safe. She’s got a good routine. But all that’s about to change.
When Lucy’s neighbour asks her to look after her little girl for a couple of hours – and then doesn’t come back – Lucy is suddenly responsible for someone other than herself.
It takes courage to let the outside world in, and Lucy’s about to learn there’s much more to life – but only if she’s brave enough to spread her wings …
Uplifting, heart-warming and with characters you truly root for, I couldn’t put it down. It underlines the importance of friendship, community and family while maintaining a galloping plot that keeps you gripped until the last page. Highlight recommend a read.
— Sarah J Harris
A lovely, heart-warming story about the importance of friendship and family, the power of forgiveness and about learning to love yourself.
— Clare Swatman
A gorgeous, heart-warming, human novel.
— Rowan Coleman
Lewis loves football more than anything else in the world, so he’s thrilled when his talent is spotted by a local coach.
But there are some big obstacles in his way. His mum doesn’t want him to have anything to do with the game because of what happened to his dad on the pitch. And even if Lewis can persuade her to let him give it a go, there’s no way they can afford the kit.
Can Lewis beat the odds to have a chance of following his dream?
A teenager’s longing for family and a place to call home is poignantly portrayed in this heartfelt and ultimately uplifting story of life in the foster-care system from bestselling author Eve Ainsworth.
Feeling betrayed when her long-term foster placement breaks down, Amy is sent to live with a new family, the Dawsons. Although initially reluctant to trust them, she eventually starts to let down her guard. But just when it seems like she’s found her forever family, she hears a telephone call that suggests things aren’t going to work out. Will Amy be abandoned again – or does she dare hope that she might finally have found home?
It has been a long time since Alice has felt safe.
Because of him. Ross. But now she, Mum and her little brother Henry have finally moved far away, where Ross will never find them. It’s a fresh start, Mum says. This time, she is never going back.
Slowly Alice starts to build a life for herself, at a new school with new friends. But she can’t escape the feeling she is being watched. That he might be lurking, waiting to ruin everything again. That Mum might be about to break her promise. That, just when Alice is starting to feel safe, everything will be taken away from her.
A story about healing, home and new beginnings from acclaimed author Eve Ainsworth.
Longlisted for Young Quills 2023- the Historical Association’s annual awards for best historical fiction for young people.
The last title in this series – a feminist coming-of-age re-telling of the historic events leading up to the formation of the famous Preston female football team the Dick, Kerr Ladies.
It’s 1920, and the Dick, Kerr Girls football team have a new member training with them! Martha – little sister to Hettie and Freddie – has finally been given her chance to swap street kickabouts with the local lads for the chance to play alongside the world’s best female footballers. But Martha has more to worry about than keeping up with the older girls. She’s dealing with new and confusing feelings; things at home are hard; and the future of women’s football in general is under threat.
Are Martha’s dreams – both on and off the pitch – too far out of reach?
The second book in the series, based on the remarkable story of the Dick, Kerr Ladies.
With the end of WW1 being declared, Hettie’s brother Freddie should be feeling relieved, but unfortunately his personal war has only just begun. He is still crippled by nightmares and guilt about a mistake that led to a man’s death in the war. He tries to distract himself by helping Hettie support the Dick, Kerr team, and his love for photography sees him quickly become their unofficial photographer, taking team shots and getting to know the girls.
Can the introduction of a new key player, Jessie Walmsley – a brave heroic woman, help Freddie to face his demons? And will a new job opportunity giving him the chance to travel the country, reporting on the Dick, Kerr Girls, finally appease his Dad? As the girls embark on their first domestic and international tour against the French Ladies team, Freddie finds he is on a journey of his own, facing up to his mistakes and taking a step to correct them.
Can he learn from the vital lesson that the Dick, Kerr Girls have to offer? That team work, communication and friendship can overcome just about anything.
It’s 1917, and Britain is at war. Shy teenager Hettie wants to help the war effort, and signs up to work in the local Dick, Kerr & Co. munitions factory. She’s nervous, but she has no idea quite how much her life is about to change…
For inside this factory are young women who are about to make sporting history. Can Hettie find the courage to join them, and in doing so, find her own place in the world?
Based on the thrilling true story of the Dick, Kerr Ladies team – football’s forgotten legends.
Violet’s mum hasn’t been herself for a while. A few too many glasses of wine in the evening. Mornings when she can’t get out of bed. Now Violet’s the one looking after her little brother and looking out for empty bottles in Mum’s bag. But it’s just another little blip. Mum will be fine again soon. She has to be … How long do blips last for? Bestselling author Eve Ainsworth tackles the difficult subject of alcohol addiction in this stark, honest and deeply moving novella.
Poppy’s having a nightmare at home. Her parents have split up and her mum’s new boyfriend is moving in. Dad is the one who’s always been there for Poppy, but now he’s drifting further and further away. It seems like things can’t get any worse until it all goes wrong at school as well and Poppy finds herself being targeted by spiteful bullies. As the vicious online comments keep coming, who can Poppy turn to for help?
When Alfie Turner loses his mum, it feels like his world is falling apart.
She was the glue that held their family together and, now that she’s gone, Alfie and his dad don’t really know how to be a family without her.
And then Alfie meets Alice.
Alice is a force of nature and has her own set of problems, but at least when Alfie’s with her he can forget about his.
Or can he? Because no matter how hard you run, life will always catch up in the end.
Despite everything holding them back, together Alfie and Alice learn two things: that friendship can help dig you out of even the blackest hole, and that it’s not the falling down that matters, it’s the getting back up.
For Marty and Daisy, life is about pretending. Pretending means everything’s fine. Pretending means not thinking about what’s really going on. But the thing about pretending is, at some point, it has to stop. And then what? Written by the stellar Eve Ainsworth, TENDER is an important, insightful and real look into the lives of young carers.
How can you heal if you can’t face your past? Confident, popular Gabi has a secret – a secret so terrible she can’t tell her family, or her best friend. She can’t even take pleasure in her beloved skateboarding any more. And then one day an impulse turns to something darker. Gabi has never felt so alone. But then she learns that not everyone has wounds you can see. A searing look at self-harm and acceptance from hugely talented author Eve Ainsworth.
Love hurts … but should it hurt this much?
Reeling from her mum’s sudden departure, Anna finds the comfort she needs in her blossoming relationship with Will. He’s handsome and loving, everything Anna has always dreamt of. He’s also moody and unpredictable, pushing her away from her friends and her music. He wants her to be his and his alone. He wants her to be perfect. Anna’s world is closing in. But threatening everything is a dark secret that not even Will can control…
Crush is a pitch-perfect exploration of love at its most powerful, addictive and destructive.
School should be a safe place for Jess, a refuge from her difficult home life – but thanks to Kez and her friends, it’s everything she dreads. Despite being beautiful and popular, Kez’s life isn’t any sweeter. She clings to the fact she is better off than Jess – or so she thinks. . .
Told from the point of view of the bullied and the bully, this is a taut, powerful story of two girls locked in battle with each other and themselves, spiralling towards a shocking conclusion.
Maisy is seventeen and has reason to be seriously fed up. Her Dad spends his days stagnating in his armchair, watching re-runs of Bargain Hunt, shouting abuse at their neurotic dog, Dave, or nursing his pint down at the Pride. Her mum fled the place years ago, on the back of a clapped-out, old bike, and is now planning the wedding of the year, to a man so damp you could grow mushrooms on him.
Even her mates are distracted these days; Poppy is to be found rattling out her vampire love story and Jess is too busy obsessing over the latest bad boy to cross her path. Trouble is, her latest conquest is Maisy’s detested older brother, Ollie – recently returned to the family home. But what secret is he hiding?
And now Maisy has dropped out of sixth form in an attempt to bring some money into the family home. But will a range of eye-opening, temporary assignments provide Maisy the freedom she is searching for?
Or is home always where the heart is?