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Saffy’s Angel
by Hilary McKay

‘Deserves to be placed alongside such classics as Little Women and
The Railway Children

Winner of the 2002
Whitbread Children’s
Book Award
Saffy's Angel by Hilary McKay

Teaching points

  • Very accessible – suitable for lower-attainers as well as pupils of all abilities.

  • High interest and funny – boy-appeal.

  • Extensive opportunities for work on symbolism – colours, names, the angel.

  • Excellent model for analysis of dialogue and humour in writing.

  • Introduction to the Teacher’s Resource written by
    Hilary McKay.

One of four children in the chaotic Casson household, Saffy realises that hers is the only name not on the artist’s colour chart pinned to the kitchen wall – there’s Cadmium, Rose and Indigo but no Saffron. It gradually dawns on her that her artistic parents and eccentric siblings are actually her aunt, uncle and cousins. When their grandfather dies, his will mentions Saffy’s angel and, with the help of her friend Sarah, Saffy plans to stow away on a trip to Italy to trace her birthplace and find her angel – to find a real piece of her past. But in the end, it’s her cousins back in England who find the broken remains of the angel – carefully reconstructing it and presenting it, whole again, to Saffy.

Cross-curricular links and themes

  • Citizenship and PSHE – adoption, identity, bereavement, disability, the family.

  • RE – the idea of angels.

  • Art and Design – the different types of art produced by the Casson family.

  • Themes – family and identity; acceptance and belonging; convention versus creativity; colour and mood.

ISBN 0 340 89987 5     £6.99     January 2005     192pp

Click here for Saffy’s Angel Teacher’s Resource

Click here for sample of the class reader

Click here for sample of the Teacher’s Resource

Click here for information on Hilary McKay

Click here for Hilary McKay’s introduction to Saffy’s Angel Teacher’s Resource

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Hodder Literature recommends....

If you enjoy Saffy's Angel, why not try one of these next:

Skellig by David Almond
Bad Alice by Jean Ure
Secret Heart by David Almond
Hodder Murray - www.hoddereducation.co.uk