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Toffee - Sarah Crossan

Hardcover Published: 17th June 2019
ISBN: 9781408868126
Number Of Pages: 416

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The astonishing new novel from the incomparable, multi-award-winning and Laureate na nÓg Sarah Crossan.

I am not who I say I am,
and Marla isn't who she thinks she is.

I am a girl trying to forget.
She is a woman trying to remember.


Allison has run away from home and with nowhere to live finds herself hiding out in the shed of what she thinks is an abandoned house. But the house isn't empty. An elderly woman named Marla, with dementia, lives there – and she mistakes Allison for an old friend from her past called Toffee.

Allison is used to hiding who she really is, and trying to be what other people want her to be. And so, Toffee is who she becomes. After all, it means she has a place to stay. There are worse places she could be.

But as their bond grows, and Allison discovers how much Marla needs a real friend, she begins to ask herself - where is home? What is a family? And most importantly, who am I, really?

Industry Reviews

[Sarah Crossan] is the princess of pacing ... Crossan always finds humour and humanity in the darkness; it's impossible not to read it in a single gulp * The Times, Children's Book of the Week *
A moving and powerful novel from one of our most original writers. Sarah has almost created an entirely new form of writing in her novels that is hers and hers alone and that works wonderfully well * John Boyne *
It reminded me of Cinder toffee- there are familiar flavours and notes and moments of powerful sweetness, but she complicates them with such power and subtlety, in a way that doesn't alienate the reader. The tang of fire is in there, always, leaving a unique aftertaste. You wouldn't mistake it for any other writer, and you won't soon forget it * Deirdre Sullivan *
[I] absolutely loved it. I am completely in awe of Sarah's ability to conjure such vivid characters and create such deeply moving stories with so few words. Tender, painful, full of heart and humanity - it's another masterpiece * Tanya Landman *
Sarah puts love and light into difficult places. This beautiful story will haunt you * Jenny Downham *
Any reader with a heart will weep buckets * The Sunday Times on MOONRISE *
A moving account of sibling relationships, poverty and powerlessness * Irish Times on MOONRISE *
Moonrise tells a story of human cost and exposes the injustice and discrimination that so often lies at the heart of the death penalty. Readers can't help but reflect on deep values of truth, freedom, equality and justice. A gripping, powerful and exceptionally moving story * Amnesty International on MOONRISE *
Truly remarkable * Irish Times on ONE *
Imagined with empathy, it will shake up preconceptions and move readers to tears * Sunday Times Book of the Week on ONE *
Pacy and involving, it is written in blank verse and concerns the revelatory relationship between a troubled girl and an elderly woman with dementia * Best children's books of the year 2019, Sunday Times *
Our current Laureate na nOg, Sarah Crossan, packs a devastating emotional punch with Toffee, a novel told through free verse about a girl running away from an abusive home * Best of 2019, Irish Times *

ISBN: 9781408868126
ISBN-10: 1408868121
Audience: Children
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 416
Published: 17th June 2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9  x 3.4
Weight (kg): 0.48
Edition Number: 1

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Sarah Crossan

About the Author


Sarah Crossan has lived in Dublin, London and New York, and now lives in Hertfordshire. She graduated with a degree in philosophy and literature before training as an English and drama teacher at Cambridge University. Since completing a masters in creative writing, she has been working to promote creative writing in schools.

The Weight of Water and Apple and Rain were both shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal. In 2016, Sarah won the CILIP Carnegie Medal as well as the YA Book Prize, the CBI Book of the Year award and the CLiPPA Poetry Award for her novel, One.

Visit Sarah Crossan's Booktopia Author Page