Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle New Album - Steps Shop Women's Shop Men's

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
58
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£6.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 17 April 2012
A funny, imaginative, magical and compelling book. Wonderful! I would strongly recommend this book, both for the children it is written for and equally for adults (as we are all children at heart) with its evocative memories of the magic of childhood! My eight year old daughter is currently half way through and loving it. It is a funny and heartfelt novel, a real page turner as you are drawn into the heroine Hannah's adventures. The description of the smells, noises and experiences of gritty life on the farm where Hannah lives with her father, brother and sisters evoke an almost lost world. The bond between Hannah and her feisty best friend Lottie in devising their top secret plan to save the family farm remind us all of the ability to believe that anything is possible if you wish for it and try hard enough - whatever life may throw in your path. I can't praise this first novel from Helen Peters enough - read this magical book!
11 Comment| 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
When I read this book I was immediately drawn in. The Secret Hen House Theatre has the most gripping story-line that makes you want to read more.
I couldn't put it down until I found out what happened in the end and it almost turns the pages for you!

The story is based on a young girl's life on an old ramshackle farm which is set in the modern times [although the farm itself is very old]. As you get further and further into the book you discover the lives of the creative, determined main character, Hannah and her family and friends. The farm is at risk of being demolished and things are tough for Hannah and her family- what can Hannah do? Read this amazing book to find out what happens to them...

The Secret Hen House Theatre has an unpredictable ending unlike any normal story. Once you have begun reading it, you feel the urge to uncover the secrets that lie ahead of you.

This is a must read and once you have purchased it, you will be sure to get your money's worth!
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 April 2012
A compelling, moving and inspiring book - a real achievement for a first novel. The kind of book I loved as a child and have thoroughly enjoyed reading as an adult. My 9 year old daughter is hooked. A great book for children to see that life has its challenges but friendship, courage and perseverance can help get you through. I loved the highly evocative setting of the old-fashioned Sussex farm. You can almost smell the manure and feel the mud squelching around your feet as you read. I look forward to reading more from Helen Peters.
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 July 2013
I am aged 9 and I loved this book and managed to devour it in two days so I wish Helen Peters would just hurry up and write another fantastic children's novel! Here is my suggested blurb for the back of the book: "Hannah has always wanted to be an actress, have her own theatre and produce plays. But can a school girl living on a farm with two younger sisters, a six year old brother and a grumpy old Dad, who can't even pay the rent let alone buy a theatre, become a famous actress? Will Hannah be forced to give up her ambitious dreams like her mother? Why not read Helen Peters' wonderful first novel and find out?"
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 June 2012
The Secret Henhouse theatre is a gripping story that takes you on a rollar-coaster ride. You find yourself on an adventure with the characters, whose actions and speech are so realistic you find yourself reading this book well into the night. It makes the reader laugh with the jokes, hiss with anger and sigh in relief.
This book deserves a special place on every bookshelf, so as both the engaging plot and the beautifully narrated story certainly deserve 5 stars. I highly recommend this book to anybody who wants a story that builds atmosphere with every turn of a page.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 23 February 2015
This put me in mind of Ballet Shoes, the theatrical element and the children taking responsibility for a family's poor finances, grown-up and capable children. And it could well be just as well-regarded as Streatfeild's classic.

A farming family, Hannah and her siblings are managing without their mother well enough, their father struggling to pay the bills but just about scraping by. Hannah dreams of writing a famous play, which her father sees as a waste of time.

But a rise in rent and a local theatrical competition coincide - can Hannah putnon a play to win the prize money and help stop her dad from losing his farm?

At heart, it's a simple plot, but there's actually a lot more depth to the story than that, with a wonderfully realised young love story that I found very realistic, rivalry with a richer student, descriptions of farm life, some amazing detail of Hannah's play and preparation.

For of course what is a play without a theatre in which to perform it? Hannah and her friends must find a venue. Is there somewhere on the farm? Hannah proves herself a more at hand capable director, and I adored the siblings and their relationships (though Martha I didn't warm to).

Hannah and Lottie (her best friend) are a very likeable pair of heroines and their scheme is one I really invested myself in. Even the side plot where they try to sell some 'valuable' candlesticks goes in interesting directions.

I thought this was very intelligent and honest writing for the age group. Easy to read with emotional depth and some great characters that are smart, capable and warm.

I look forward to the sequel.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 April 2012
This is a gripping story beautifully written.I enjoyed it as an adult and couldn't put it down until it was finished.It conjures up life on a farm with great skill, and the characters come alive on the page.It is both modern and retro, in the sense of the freedom of play in the way of life on an old farm being lost in a changing world.I am going to buy this book for the children of friends as it has a great sense of place and the protagonists learn, and grow in understanding throughout the narrative.I think this will be a 'hit'.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 October 2013
A lighthearted, fun story that reminds me of childhood. An easy read, not too sophisticated but it doesnt need to be as it's written from a young person's perspective. A novel that made the train journeys go much more quickly!
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 February 2016
<written By Izzy, aged 12> My first thought about this book was that it looked bit young for me, judging by the cover and the blurb. And yet after I'd picked it up and read the first page it defined the saying 'page-turner' so perfectly- it was beautifully written, and Hannah's (the main character) personality traits and strong emotions were evident throughout the story. Don't say no to this book because it is not worth saying no to. Her friendship with Lottie remains strong and her ability to bypass her spiteful sister Martha's frequent rude comments bides to create an independent, likeable character that I think anyone should be proud of. The humour and the exciting plot lines were written to the perfect ratio, and I think that Helen Peters got the balance of the entire story perfect. I would absolutely recommend this to girls aged 8-12 who enjoy theatre and want to find that perfect book to stay with you long after the final page has been read.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 September 2012
The wonderful, heart-warming tale of a girl who battles to put on a theatrical performance against all the odds, 'The Secret Hen House Theatre' deserves to be given a place in the Pantheon of classics I read as a child. With its cast of believable characters and its refusal to come to a saccharine conclusion (the obvious happily-ever-after ending is eschewed in favour of something much more nuanced), it is a book that deserves to be read again and again. My ten year-old daughter devoured it in one sitting, and I only ever put it down reluctantly. While the book is set in the present day, Helen Peters manages to capture a timeless quality which puts it firmly up there with the masters of children's literature. I was in tears at the end, and that's about the highest honour I can give a book.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse