Book review: Reyt As Rain Reads... books to make it better

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Clare says: I’m from Yorkshire, and my husband is from Scotland. It’s easy to get children’s books that are set in Scotland or about Scottish characters, but what children’s books are there set in Yorkshire? I have tried to get hold of the old James Herriot children’s stories, but they’re difficult to find.

Anna says: I put a call out on Twitter for ideas for you, realising that giving children Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre to read might not be the best idea.

I read the Brontës at a young age, understood less than half of what was going on, and was left with nightmares about burning beds and a belief that ideal love is when he digs up your coffin to embrace your 20-year- old corpse, neither of which I’ve ever been able to entirely shake.

Luckily, the good people of twitter came to the rescue to save your children from the same fate, and there are some fantastic recommendations here.

Some wonderful old classic books are set in Yorkshire. Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden takes place in the fictional Misselthwaite Manor on the Yorkshire moors.

This is the story of Mary Lennox, an unhappy orphan who discovers a secret walled garden that has captured the imaginations of children all over the world for generations.

Another unmissable classic is E Nesbit’s The Railway Children, a strong contender for the most tear-jerking book of all time. I can neither confirm nor deny that I have had a little cry just thinking about it as I write this.

There are some newer books set in Yorkshire too.

I confess to not having read these, but they look so brilliant I am tempted to add them to my already creaking ‘to be read’ book pile.

The Whitby Witches is a series of books by Robin Jarvis which tells the story of orphaned brother and sister Ben and Jennet who are adopted by an elderly lady who has lots of eccentric spinster friends.

With several names taken from the real seventeenth century Pendle witch trials, I wonder what these women might turn out to be.

Sheffield writer Linda Hoy has also been recommended. With books on everything from aliens, to bereavement, to the fate of Sheffield United football team, her work promises

something for all tastes. Another one to look up is the Sheffield-set tale of adventure during the 1940 blitz, Put Out The Light, from the writer of the hugely successful Horrible Histories books, Terry Deary.

I hope this is enough to show your children, and your husband, that Yorkshire is up there with Scotland as a setting for superb children’s literature.