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The Diamond of Drury Lane (Cat Royal) Hardcover – 2 Jan 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd (2 Jan. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405221496
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405221498
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 3.8 x 18.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 247,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Capturing superbly the hustle and bustle, flair and extravagance of late Eighteenth Century times in England’s renowned capital, The Diamond of Drury Lane introduces its feisty heroine with an undeniably exciting first adventure. This is historical fiction for young readers at its best--authentic, exciting and fast-moving.

Cat Royal is a veritable institution at Mr Sheridan’s famous Drury Lane theatre of ye olde London Town, circa 1790. Adopted by the owner after being mysteriously abandoned as a baby on the steps of his infamous establishment, Cat has grown up backstage amidst the glamour of the bright lights, the exotic artistes, hammy actors, melodious musicians and riotous viewing public. The performers are her family, the stagehands her closest friends.

However, Cat is growing up and she is beginning to think about what she wants to do with her life. Those thoughts take an unexpected turn when she overhears a conversation about a diamond hidden somewhere in the theatre. Her adventures begin when she tries to find the treasure. Pedro, a gifted musician who is new to the company orchestra, ably assists her. Ever present too are the political ramifications of a mischievous satirical cartoonist called Captain Sparkler, who some suspect is a very important person nearby in disguise.

The narrative traverses London and takes in the rival street gangs of Covent Garden, boxing matches, theatre riots, spectacular stage productions and several moments of drama and intrigue. Cat is so likeable as a central character, that readers will soon be caught up in her journey. That journey may only be short geographically, but she learns lots about who she is and who her real friends are. It’s great stuff. Look out for the sequel, Cat Among the Pigeons.

(Age 9 and over)--John McLay

Review

The Diamond of Drury Lane has been named one of Booklist's Top Ten Mystery for Youth books in their May 1, 2008 issue. Starred Review: Kirkus Reviews - May 1, 2008 issue
Young Cat, red-haired and full of curiosity, lives at the Theater Royal in Drury Lane, having been abandoned there as a wee babe and raised by the theater folk and Mr. Sheridan, the owner. Golding surrounds Cat with colorful characters. The butcher boy, also a boxer, heads up a gang that rivals that of evil Billy Boil. Johnny draws revolutionary cartoons and has a secret. The music master's protege, freed slave Pedro, plays the violin like an angel and becomes Cat's partner in adventures. There are boxing and gang fights and pawnshops and a terrible jail and a lively pair of noble siblings who fall in with Cat; there are overheard conversations--like the one about a hidden diamond.... The characterization tends to the sketchy and offhand, but the story itself plunges headlong from the theater into 1790s-era London's muddy streets and silken drawing rooms. Readers will be heartened to know that this is the first of a projected quartet (although it eschews a cliffhanger ending). Winner of the 2006 Smarties Prize. (Historical fiction. 10-14)
Starred Reiew - School Library Journal Gr 6-8-A remarkable debut novel. Cat is a streetwise orphan living in the Drury Lane Theatre in 1790s London. Her budding friendships with violin prodigy Pedro, a former slave; two teenage members of the aristocracy; and the theatre's mysterious new prompter are put to the test when she agrees to help safeguard the hidden treasure of the title. Golding's fast-paced story abounds with atmosphere and adventure as Cat struggles to prevent thevicious leader of one of Covent Garden's street gangs from finding the diamond. Along the way, she experiences a taste of political intrigue and begins to wonder what her future holds. The author's liberal use of late-18th-century phraseology adds charm and color to this first-person tale, which is aided by a glossary in which the likable heroine explains each term. Cat and her friends are wholly three-dimensional... Readers will likely be too captivated by the charming prose, exciting plot, and Cat herself ...."-Leah J. Sparks, formerly at Bowie Public Library, MD"

"The Diamond of Drury Lane" has been named one of Booklist's Top Ten Mystery for Youth Books "Golding, who won a 2006 Smarties Prize for this in Britian, is a talented scene setter. From the spectacles in the theater to the filth of the city streets, she offers a view London readers can grasp with all their senses."--"Booklist," Starred Review
"A remarkable debut novel. . . . Golding's fast-paced story abounds with atmosphere and adventure."--"School Library Journal," Starred Review
"[A] fast-moving adventure . . . Golding situates her story precisely; often a few deft words bring the setting into satisfying, sharp focus."--"The Horn Book"
"The story itself plunges headlong from the theater into 1790s-era London's muddy streets and silken drawing rooms. Readers will be heartened to know that this is the first of a projected quartet (although it eschews a cliffhanger ending)."--"Kirkus Reviews," Starred Review

Golding, who won a 2006 Smarties Prize for this in Britian, is a talented scene setter. From the spectacles in the theater to the filth of the city streets, she offers a view London readers can grasp with all their senses. "Booklist, Starred Review"

A remarkable debut novel. . . . Golding's fast-paced story abounds with atmosphere and adventure. "School Library Journal, Starred Review"

[A] fast-moving adventure . . . Golding situates her story precisely; often a few deft words bring the setting into satisfying, sharp focus. "The Horn Book"

The story itself plunges headlong from the theater into 1790s-era London's muddy streets and silken drawing rooms. Readers will be heartened to know that this is the first of a projected quartet (although it eschews a cliffhanger ending). "Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review""

Golding, who won a 2006 Smarties Prize for this in Britian, is a talented scene setter. From the spectacles in the theater to the filth of the city streets, she offers a view London readers can grasp with all their senses. Booklist, Starred Review

A remarkable debut novel. . . . Golding's fast-paced story abounds with atmosphere and adventure. School Library Journal, Starred Review

[A] fast-moving adventure . . . Golding situates her story precisely; often a few deft words bring the setting into satisfying, sharp focus. The Horn Book

The story itself plunges headlong from the theater into 1790s-era London's muddy streets and silken drawing rooms. Readers will be heartened to know that this is the first of a projected quartet (although it eschews a cliffhanger ending). Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"

"Golding, who won a 2006 Smarties Prize for this in Britian, is a talented scene setter. From the spectacles in the theater to the filth of the city streets, she offers a view London readers can grasp with all their senses." --Booklist, Starred Review

"A remarkable debut novel. . . . Golding's fast-paced story abounds with atmosphere and adventure." --School Library Journal, Starred Review

"[A] fast-moving adventure . . . Golding situates her story precisely; often a few deft words bring the setting into satisfying, sharp focus." --The Horn Book

"The story itself plunges headlong from the theater into 1790s-era London's muddy streets and silken drawing rooms. Readers will be heartened to know that this is the first of a projected quartet (although it eschews a cliffhanger ending)." --Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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