1,473 Pages


Ben, 11 years old, and the youngest of the Mallory family, has come to London from Henstable, where the children live with their aunt, to stay with his father (a widower) and to get to know the young woman who in another week will become his stepmother.

When his brother and sister contract measles, Ben cannot return immediately to Henstable. Going off on his own to explore the maze of walls that inclose the neighbours' back-gardens. He makes the acquaintance of Thomas, the son of an exiled East African Prime Minister, and Lil, a fatherless cockney waif. Both Thomas and Lil have reasons for wanting to escape from their homes, and in helping them, Ben becomes involved in adventures that are sometimes dangerous, and always exciting.

Reader's Reviews


A very good book. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


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Parental Guidance

  • Reading Age: 11+
  • Reading Aloud Age: 10+

Children run away from mean adults.

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