Fire, Bed, and Bone

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Fire, Bed and Bone
Author Henrietta Branford
Cover artist Helen Schulman
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Children's historical novel
Publisher Walker Books
Publication date
Media type Print (hardcover & paperback)
Pages 127 pp (first edition)
ISBN 0744554845
OCLC 789628635
LC Class PZ7.B737385 Fi 1998[1]

Fire, Bed, and Bone is a historical novel for older children by Henrietta Branford, published by Walker in 1997. Branford won the annual Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, a once-in-a-lifetime book award judged by a panel of British children's writers.[2]

Walker's North American division Candlewick Press published the first U.S. edition in 1998.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

The story is narrated by a nameless hunting dog, as witness to the English peasants' revolt of 1381. She does her best to survive while trying to raise her own puppy Fleabane after the others were brutally mauled to death by a wild cat, tracking her captive owners Rufus and Comfort as they are tried for heresy. Branford's martianist technique (see Craig Raine) creates a more primal narrative voice in contrast with the suspected response of the reader, but themes including matriarchal affection and honour unite man and dog.[citation needed]

One catalog summary:

"In 1381 in England, a hunting dog recounts what happens to his beloved master Rufus and his family when they are arrested on suspicion of being part of the peasants' rebellion led by Wat Tyler and the preacher John Ball."


Beside winning the Guardian Prize,[2] Branford was a commended runner up for the annual Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year's best children's book by a British subject.[3][a] Fire, Bed, and Bone also made the Kliatt Editors' Choice and Voice of Youth Advocates Non Fiction Honor List.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Since 1995 there are usually eight books on the Carnegie shortlist. According to CCSU, some runners up through 2002 were Commended (from 1955) or Highly Commended (from 1966); the Highly Commended distinction became approximately annual in 1979. There were about 160 commendations of both kinds in 48 years including Branford (highly commended) and J. K. Rowling in 1997.


  1. ^ a b "Fire, bed, & bone" (first U.S. edition). Library of Congress Catalog Record. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  2. ^ a b "Guardian children's fiction prize relaunched: Entry details and list of past winners". 12 March 2001. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  3. ^ "Carnegie Medal Award". 2007(?). Curriculum Lab. Elihu Burritt Library. Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). Retrieved 2012-08-09.

External links[edit]

Fire, Bed, and Bone in libraries (WorldCat catalog) —immediately, first US edition