The Secret of Splint Hall

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 3 Mar 2022 | Archive Date 28 Feb 2022

Talking about this book? Use #TheSecretofSplintHall #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


1945. War has ended, but for sisters Isobel and Flora the struggles still continue. They’ve lost their father and had their home destroyed in a bombing raid, and now they must go to live with their aunt and her awful husband Mr Godfrey in their ancestral home, Splint Hall.

From the moment of their arrival it seems that this is a place shrouded in mysteries and secrets. Who are the strange men who arrive with packages at night? What is the source of the strange blue sparks coming from the ground? And why do the locals seem to hate their family so much? As the girls begin to unearth an ancient myth and family secret, the adventure of a lifetime begins.

1945. War has ended, but for sisters Isobel and Flora the struggles still continue. They’ve lost their father and had their home destroyed in a bombing raid, and now they must go to live with their...

Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781839131967
PRICE £7.99 (GBP)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (MOBI)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 14 members

Featured Reviews

I absolutely loved this book. It’s a marvellous mystery story set immediately after WWII when life is still really difficult for many people. There are echoes of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe at the start but then moves into completely different territory as the mystery unfolds.
Isabel, Flora and their mother have had their home destroyed in the bombing and have to go and live with their aunt and her husband at Splint Hall. Splint Hall is where their mother grew up but it is a very different place now that her brother in law, Mr Godfrey, is master of the house.
The two girls explore the house and grounds and meet Simon, the son of the previous gatekeeper who was sacked for stealing meat. Simon seems able to mysteriously appear and disappear from the grounds of the house. As they explore Splint Hall, the girls uncover more and more strange things. Who are the men who arrive in the middle of the night to take away bulging sacks and why was their grandfather obsessed with drawing dragons? And how did Splint Hall get its name?
The story drew me in from the very first page. It’s quite slow moving to begin with as the scene is set but the action soon picks up and there are some heart stopping moments especially in the tunnels. The characters are all vividly drawn from Mr Godfrey with his wounded leg to Simon and his mysterious secrets and all of them come alive from the page. I loved the plot and there was just the right amount of danger to keep things exciting.
This was a brilliant adventure and I’m really grateful to Net Galley and Andersen Press for providing me with this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

What a delightful surprise this was. I loved it and especially the two young sisters, coming to terms with the aftermath of World War 2. This has definitely got to get 5 stars for the ingenuity, plot and adventure that takes place. A brilliant read for the KS2 reader.

Was this review helpful?

Well firstly what a beautiful cover this book has! This alone would make me pick up this book, and then after reading the blurb, I would buy this book. It is marketed as suitable for 9-11 years, but I could see this book being suitable for a wider range of ages, especially if adults sit and read this book with a child or class setting. It is an excellent introduction to WW2 and could open discussions on rationing, evacuation, requisitioning of country houses etc. so not only a great story but educational too.
The story does not disappoint. I loved it. The characters are well developed: I could actually see them and could also see this book as an adapted to television series. Children will love how the story develops into a great adventure and a little bit of scare factor included. This book would make a great gift or a treat for a little person to spend their pocket money on.
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher Anderson Press and the author for the opportunity to read and review this e copy.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book. It was warm and exciting and clever. Set just after the Second World War, Isobel and Flora must travel, with their mum, to live in her ancestral home, Splint Hall, after their own home has been bombed. The family dynamics are intricate and interesting and Mr Godfrey is instantly dislikeable. The book is an excellent mixture of family drama and fantasy - something I was not expecting. There is so much worth discussing in this book and I look forward to introducing it to my Year 6 class. There are so many different aspects to this book, it will appeal to a wide range of readers and would be great either to read for pleasure or as a class reader. I would recommend this book to confident readers from the age of 9 and it would also be enjoyed by teenagers.

Was this review helpful?

The Secret of Splint Hall is a beautifully written adventure that skilfully combines historical fiction and fantasy. Katie Cotton's setting is England just after the second world war and the heavy cloud of loss, death and sacrifice hangs over everything. Against this setting, Isobel and Flora are uprooted from their home (lost to a bomb) and move to Splint Hall, the family home of her mother now owned by their timid, frightened aunt and cold uncle. The tension at Splint Hall is palpable and Katie Cotton writes a child eye's view of an unhappy marriage brilliantly. When Isobel's dislike of her uncle turns to suspicions that he is up to no good and she and Flora begin to ask questions of why the towns people are so hostile to them, she begins to uncover secrets long buried and embarks on an adventure that will change the fortunes of the entire family.

It is difficult to talk too much about this book without giving away the secret, but the moment when the adventure shifts from historical to fantasy is handled so skilfully that it feels utterly right for the Hall's secret to be what it is. Katie Cotton entwines the history of the Hall, the family and the town together into a legend that feels authentic and believable. Above everything, The Secret of Splint Hall is an adventure and once Isobel and Flora discover the Hall's secret they are plunged into an adventure which will have the reader on the edge of their seats.
The Secret of Splint Hall is, by turns, exciting, intriguing and, at times, moving. Exquisitely written with believable characters, I raced through it, and yet never wanted it to end.

Was this review helpful?

The Secret of Splint Hall skillfully combines historical fiction (set just after the end of WW2) and a thrilling fantasy adventure! Told from the younger of the two sister's, Isobel's perspective, the story sees the girls moving with their mother for a 'new start' at their aunt's house, where their mother grew up. However, instead of a warm welcome, they find Mr Godfrey (the aunt's husband) is a cold, hard man and strikes fear into the household.

Despite this, the girl's sense of fun and mischief shines through as they explore the house and gardens, finding secret doorways, an air-raid shelter with boxes, a unknown boy, blue sparks and packages delivered in the night. The adventure and fantasy elements just build and build throughout the book and it grows increasingly exciting to read until you can't put it down!

I loved how Isobel overcome her fears of the dark through her adventure and also how the children worked together too.

I loved this story from the beginning and feel that it would be a great novel to study as part of a continuation of the world war topic, demonstrating the consequences of the bombing and the continuation of rationing.

**Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the opportunity to read an advanced e-copy of this book. All opinions are my own **

Was this review helpful?

I loved this so much, I still think about it. I loved the characters, loved the setting, the loved the fantastical element, everything is just wonderful about this book. Probably one of the best middle-grade fiction books I read in a long time.

Was this review helpful?

Okay, first off? Just look at that cover. It’s gorgeous!

THE SECRET OF SPLINT HALL is a book of two parts. In the first, Flora and Isobel explore Splint Hall and face off with their awful uncle. There’s hints of something bigger going on — both mundane and magical — but it’s largely a period piece. The period — in the aftermath of World War 2 — is incredibility well painted, with lots of little details subtly woven through to create a setting that’s immersive, believable and vivid.

In the second half of the book, the sisters team up with two brothers who call themselves ‘keepers’ and, without giving too much away — find out what Splint Hall’s secrets really are. This part is a fast-paced adventure, exploring a network of collapsing, bomb-damaged underground caves and facing off very real dangers and some terrifying supernatural ones.

THE SECRET OF SPLINT HALL has great characters and an exciting plot. The girls are cheeky and mischievous, but good-hearted and likeable. I read through it very quickly, needing to know how they would save Splint Hall and the village from the monsters threatening it, and save their aunt from her awful husband.

A wonderful middle-grade, and I look forward to more from Katie Cotton.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: