Mal tells the story of her village. Her voice is deceptively direct and simple. But she sees the world with the piercing clarity of a young woman teetering on the edge of adult hood. She peoples her village with shambolically ordinary folk who are all wanting in some way. Yet by the end of the story they have acheived a remarkable act of courage. For Eyam is the Derbyshire village that attempted to stop the spread of the plague by cutting themselves off from the world regardless of the consequences to themselves.
Few books have ever touched me so deeply. It asks of everyone who reads it, what if it had happened to me? For you, your next door neighbour, your friends and your acquaintences are to be found in Eyam, not heroes.
Forget Harry Potter, if you want your children to read something other than fantasy give them this book. Better still read it yourself.