Stone Arrows

Published: 8 August, 2023 / 232 pages

When Zeta’s father is killed, she and her brother, Finn, together with Zeta’s pet wolf, Kuba, are forced to flee across the country to seek sanctuary with their mother’s birth tribe. On this perilous journey they have to learn to outwit their pursuers and put into practice all their hunting skills and knowledge of the land. Will they survive the journey and be accepted by their mother’s tribe? And can they save their friend Arden from certain death?

Set in 7000BCE around the middle of the Mesolithic period of hunter gatherers and based on careful research, Stone Arrows is an original novel combining an exciting adventure with historical detail. It paints a wonderful picture of how life was lived in these far-off times – the terrain, the wild animals, the clothing, the sights and smells – while telling an engaging and fast-moving story.

“… she paints a wonderful picture of how life was lived in those far off times, but the research is woven into the story with a light touch and she makes the reader really care about what happens to her characters. The book is also beautifully illustrated.”

“… I felt like I was there. My walks through the woods in the mornings also had a new lease of life, I kept imagining how they would be full of dangers and wildlife everywhere.”

“I was invested in this book from the very first page. The story has many twists and turns which makes it an exciting read.”

It’s taken me a long time to write and publish my debut novel – it must almost be a record as I’m now in my seventies! Trained as a primary school teacher, later I took fiction and non fiction certificates in creative writing and have been tutoring an adult creative writing class in Hertfordshire since 2006.

Some years ago,  as a hobby,  I wrote articles and stories for magazines, but it was a physical object that set me off writing Stone Arrows, my stone age story for middle grade – eight to twelve year olds. 

I found a small stone age flake in my garden and this sent me on a Mesolithic adventure set in the year 7000BCE.  I wondered who the last person had been to hold the flint flake and the character of Zeta soon began to form in my mind. I added her brother Finn and friend Arden, and set them off on a perilous journey crossing east to west of northern Britain.

I’ve always been fascinated with ancient history even though I am not an historian. It was my first foray into research and I loved every minute of it.  Because there is a lot we don’t know about this period due to the hunter gatherer way of life, I had to imagine some of the details in the story, but I based parts on more modern nomadic lifestyles.

I made the decision during lockdown, to dig out the early chapters and finish the book.  I didn’t have any luck with agents and hardly any publishers accept unsolicited children’s books, so I began to lose heart. Then the ten year old son of a friend of mine read Stone Arrows and loved it, which made me think I should persevere in getting it published.  He also encouraged me to write another story about the same children so I’m working on Stone Warriors at the moment.

Elizabeth Barber

#Mesolithic #Adventure #Prehistory #MiddleYears #Children #TwelveYears #Primary #Illustrated

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