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At the Sign of the Sugared Plum (Sign of the Sugared Plum #1)

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,234 Ratings  ·  209 Reviews

‘You be going to live in the city, Hannah?' Farmer Price asked, pushing his battered hat up over his forehead. ‘Wouldn''t think you'd want to go there . . . Times like this, I would have thought your sister would try and keep you away.' Hannah is oblivious to Farmer Price's dark words, excited as she is about her first ever trip to London to help her sister in her shop ‘Th

Kindle Edition, 180 pages
Published July 4th 2011 by Bloomsbury Childrens (first published January 1st 2003)
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Sophie Keighley Yeah, the book is based on history, around the time of the plague, I wont give too much away. However it is a lovely read whether you're way into…moreYeah, the book is based on history, around the time of the plague, I wont give too much away. However it is a lovely read whether you're way into history or not. I defiantly say to give it a go! (less)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dawn (& Ron)
Apr 06, 2012 Dawn (& Ron) rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: not royal HF, the Great Plague, time of Charles II
Recommended to Dawn (& Ron) by: Lisa Vegan
This book was recommended to me late last year by Lisa. My first thoughts were someone wrote a YA book about the Great Plague and made it interesting! It just seemed a difficult match to me, to make such a bleak subject work for this genre. It could easily turn into an anachronistic tale of a 21st century lass who flits into 17th century London to view events. So my interest immediately piqued, I had to see how this would be treated and made palatable for younger readers, be able to hold my atte ...more
Lisa Vegan
Jan 16, 2012 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like historical fiction, plague stories, stories about sisters
Recommended to Lisa by: Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I do love plague stories, and historical fiction stories, and coming of age stories, and I’m interested in the history of medicine, and there was quite a bit of all of those in this novel. I was particularly intrigued with the plague remedies and theories of the time.

There were particularly good descriptions of what London was like at the time (1665) and what the plague must have been like. I gradually grew to care deeply for the characters. Reading about the human suffering was palpable and hea
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Excellent historical novel about two sisters who struggle to survive the Great Plague of London in 1665. The author took her research from first-hand accounts, vividly bringing out the details of life and death at that time. The two sisters were candy makers, creating their confections from flowers and herbs, the details of which I found fascinating. Recipes for making some of these candies is included in the back of the book. This story is the first I've read by Mary Hooper, and it leaves me an ...more
Terri Lynn
Jan 14, 2012 Terri Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In June of 1665, teenaged Hannah is delighted to finally be going to London to live with her older sister Sarah who owns and runs a sweets shop The Sugared Plum. She wants to live in the city and throw away the country lifestyle that bored her in exchange for the excitement of keeping up with the latest fashions, attending her first play, and finding an interesting man to spend time with.

Sarah is horrified when she arrives. She had sent a note to her that Hannah never received warning her of th
Ginny Messina
Wonderful historical novel for kids. Two sisters earn their living making confections in London as the Bubonic Plague of 1665 descends on the city. Great historical detail. You really can't beat the Bubonic Plague when it comes to fascinating disasters, and this story was especially good. The ending left an opening for a sequel, I thought. (I hope!)
Aug 18, 2011 Brett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book did an absolutely fantastic job of capturing the sights, sounds, & smells of plague-ridden London in 1665, as well as the feelings of overwhelming fear, helplessness, & despair it caused in the citizens. In this way it reminded me a great deal of Laurie Halse Anderson's "Fever, 1793", as well as the great protagonist. Hannah is so excited to be leaving her sleepy village for the bustle of London, where she has always dreamed of going. Arriving at the shop where her sister lives ...more
Feb 28, 2010 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Teenaged Hannah has lived all her life in the English countryside, so she is thrilled when, in the summer of 1665, her older sister Sarah invites her to come live with her in London and help her at her candy shop. However, arriving in London she finds Sarah had sent a second letter instructing her not to come. Plague has taken hold in London, and Sarah fears for Hannah's life. Hannah insists on staying, believing she will be safe. But to her horror, in the coming weeks more and more people die, ...more
This was an interesting story which takes the reader back to London in 1665 where the plague is rampant. We watch Hannah change from a carefree, frivolous girl excited to be in the big city to that of a young woman troubled by nightmares of the real horror around her. At times the plot is a little thin, but it is still definitely worth the read.
Jan 19, 2016 Josephine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a beautifully written book aimed at teens or young adults but just as informative for the adult reader. The subject of the great plague of London is sensitively covered without leaving out the horrors suffered by the people and the awful fear of those living in the city at the time. Seeing it all from the perspective of Hannah, a young girl from the country who has just arrived in London impatient to see all the wonders of the great city. It is such a shock for Hannah and her sister Sar ...more
Feb 16, 2012 Kristy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hannah is a young girl from the country, ready to live it up in the big city. The city is London & the year is 1665. Hannah doesn't know it yet, but her time in the big city is going to be filled with misery, because the plague has just begun claiming victims.

I can't say I know too much about the plague, and I'm sure that the authors descriptions although sometimes graphic, were no where near as horrible as the sights people of that era actually took it. I found the book one part education
Dec 03, 2013 Kruemi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I learned more about the fashion in 1665 than I ever wanted to know and almost gave up when the 5oth (at least it felt that much) dress was described. The story itself was pretty meagre and predictable - so what was it that kept me reading? Just the historical facts and because I like to read about London, no matter the century. But if I want to read about how an epidemic spreads and how it affects human nature I will always prefer The Plague by Albert Camus (not that you can compare both books ...more
Beth Bonini
Aug 07, 2014 Beth Bonini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
When Hannah travels up from the country to join her sister's sweet-making business, she is eager to taste all of the experiences of the big city. Unfortunately, she arrives in London at the beginning of the summer of 1665 -- alongside the outbreak of the 'Great Plague', which will eventually kill an estimated one-third of London's population. Like most teens, Hannah is caught up in the concerns of her life, which range from disliking her freckles and red hair to learning a new craft to the excit ...more
May 21, 2014 Robin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First I have to say: what a fabulous title!

The historical and geographical descriptions in this book were outstanding. Late 17th Century Plague-ridden London, as the common people experienced it, was felt/seen/smelled/watched/navigated with authenticity and that was such a treat, as I have long had an interest in those things. Even with the bit of knowledge I possess already, I learned so many new things about what life was like for people who lived through that.

The story-telling was also compe
Jul 29, 2014 Vani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys a dark historical novel
The year is 1665. The place is London, England. Hannah, a 16 year old girl arrives in the city on the back of a farmer's cart, excited to discover the delights of London for herself. Summoned by her sister Sarah to assist at her sweetmeats shop, The Sugared Plum, Hannah is looking forward to indulge in the latest fashions and gossips of town. What she doesn't know is that London is about to transform tragically into the city of death, visited by the deadly plague pandemic.

In this story, Mary Ho
Leanne Bell
I haven't read any historical fiction in a while, mainly because I hadn't found one that interested me. I stumbled upon this in the Oxfam Bookshop (I love charity book stores, they're fun to explore!)and I bought it without any hesitation because I'd heard of Mary Hooper after reading one of Marie-Louise Jensen's books.

This turned out to be a really good historical read. I was suitably enthralled, disgusted and excited all at the same time. Enthralled by the events going on, disgusted by the pla
I really liked this one. It follows the story of a young girl, Hannah, who moves to London in 1665, just as the plague is taking hold of the city. Hannah and her sister Sarah are both fun and witty characters with a close relationship. They were easy to relate to and easy to care about. The book itself was compelling and the whole time I was very eager to find out how things would end. The book is also obviously very well researched which added to my enjoyment and appreciation of it.
Oct 02, 2015 buchergeblaetter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are some points I really loved about this book, but there are also certain aspects I wasn't entirely happy with.
To start with the negative aspects I just couldn't help myself but not like Hannah. She was just too selfish and vain. There was a point when I just coudln't stand her talking about her freckles and curly hair anymore. Or like the scene when she says. " Oh I am not sure if putting a flower behind your ear will keep the plague away, but it looks really good so I better do the sam
Jul 21, 2014 Lily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved it. I greatly enjoy reading about plagues (don't ask me why, I just do. Another good plague book is Fever 1793 about the yellow fever. But that's another book. This one was great, and I loved it. It loses one star, because I feel like the author holds onto her charactes too much. I know it's hard to kill of a character, and the author did kill (view spoiler) one mainish character, but I think that one of the main character should have at least ...more
Jo Barton
Oct 20, 2009 Jo Barton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set against the time of the great plague in London in 1665, this is a wonderfully atmospheric story of how the disease spread and left ordinary lives devastated and destroyed.I especially liked the characters of Hannah and her sister, Sarah.The story leaves you wanting more, so looking forward to the next book in the series.
Read for Reading History in Children's Books, and useful for that, but not something I particularly enjoyed.
Jeanette Smith
Jul 26, 2016 Jeanette Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful, detailed exploration of the effect of the Black Death on one girl's life.

If you like to learn about history as you read, this book takes you back to a long-remembered moment in English history. I like to enjoy a good story rather than read a text book, so this an ideal way for me, and those like me, to immerse ourselves in those poignant moments.

You are transported back to the sights, sounds and smells within the city of London. The fear of living at such a time is experienced by t
May 03, 2012 Kristen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
loved this! written for young adults, but doesn't seem juvenile.
I picked this up as I was curious about the front muted cover. I didn't think I'd read it as it looked Chinese and I don't have any interest in Wild Swans and its successors. BUT how wrong was I? DO NOT JUDGE a book by its cover!

The story of a young girl in 1665 heads to her sister's 'sweetmeat' shop - thus the title - and we experience with her the oncoming bubonic plague in London. Thisd reads so easily that i had finished it in one evening! Enjoyable fiction based on historical data. Good fun
Miss Amanda
gr 5-8 163 pgs

1665, London, England. Hannah is so excited when her older sister Sarah writes and asks her to come and work for her. When Hannah arrives, she is shocked to learn that plague has come to London. Sarah had written a second letter telling Hannah to stay away, but Hannah never got it. Now, Hannah and Sarah, trapped in the city along with the rest of its inhabitants, must struggle to survive.

Continued in: "Petals in the Ashes"

I think readers who enjoyed Anderson's "Fever 1793" would al
Aug 01, 2014 Sarina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jugendbuch, 2014
"Die Schwester der Zuckermacherin" habe ich schon einmal vor Jahren gelesen und damals sehr begeistert von der Geschichte gewesen. Und auch jetzt, beim zweiten Mal lesen, habe ich mich von Mary Hooper gerne in das London des 17. Jahrhunderts entführen lassen, obwohl die Zeit der Pest sicherlich nicht schön war. Im Gegenteil! Wie schrecklich sie tatsächlich war wird dem Leser schonungslos (und absolut authentisch) vor Augen geführt. Hannah, für die es immer ein Traum war eines Tages zu ihrer Schw ...more
Actual rating 3.5
My aunt bought me this book yeeeeeaaars ago (2006 to be precise) when we went to the Globe Museum Shop in London.
I do not know why it has remained unread til now, that's insane, especially as it has less then 200 pages.
Must have always slipped my eyes somehow, skinny-minny thing that it is.
I finally finally read it!
And it was a really good solid read.
I think I would have enjoyed it even more eight years ago, because then I read all sorts of ya historical fiction set in th
Nicole Molden
Mar 11, 2014 Nicole Molden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love this book, I was given it in school as a 'welcome to high-school gift' I was petrified... Firstly because we got to pick the book we wanted and I thought people were going to laugh at me for choosing the historical choice, secondly I thought I wasn't 'developed' enough to read a book about such a remarkable part of British history! But one day I started reading it and I loved from the beginning to the end, characters were amazing, storyline was impressive and it was a page-tune ...more
Shanna Gonzalez
May 24, 2009 Shanna Gonzalez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-08-12
Hannah and Sarah are teenaged entrepreneurs, sisters running a shop in 1665 London wherein they make sugar-frosted rose petals and other sweetmeats for the nobility. Hannah, who has recently joined her sister, is excited at the prospect of a big-city life and complacently dismisses rumors that the Bubonic Plague is reawakening in London. By the time she realizes her optimism is unfounded, the city is quarantined and she watches in horror as neighbors succumb, one by one, to the mysterious sickne ...more
Vickie Wilson
Mar 07, 2014 Vickie Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At the Sign of the Sugared Plum is a very quick read about a young girl's experiences in London, during the Plague. It's told in the usual Mary Hooper fashion, a lot of attention to detail with a very rich, vivid storyline and a very likeable heroine.

Hannah did annoy me at first because she was a very stereotypical, 'fresh from the country' girl, she's very naive and the only things on her mind are getting rid of her freckles and the latest fashions. However, after seeing all the horrors of the
Oct 15, 2011 Mel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, historical, london
This is the second book in two weeks I’ve read set in the 1600s and I have to confess this is the book that most vividly invokes the period. Mary Hooper is celebrated for her historical YA books and after reading my first book from her I can understand why. The writing is simple and elegant, effortless painting pictures, sounds and smells of the period. In fact I just fell in love with Mary’s style of writing and descriptions!

The story focuses on Hannah, a young girl from the country who moves t
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British children's and young adult author Mary Hooper was born in 1944, in Barnes, South West London. She left school at fifteen, and went to work as a window dresser, and then as a secretary. She eventually returned to school, as an adult student, earning a degree in English from Reading University. Hooper began her writing career with short stories, publishing in women's and teen magazines. Her ...more
More about Mary Hooper...

Other Books in the Series

Sign of the Sugared Plum (2 books)
  • Petals in the Ashes (Sign of the Sugared Plum, #2)

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