Dimanche Diller by Henrietta Branford (1994)
You'll love Dimanche.
She's an orphan and an heiress, and she has a wicked guardian, the dreadful Valburga Vilemile, who seems certain to get her hands on Dimanche's fortune.
You might think that Dimanche doesn't stand a chance. She's sent away on so many dangerous activity holidays, and has so many near misses with broken ropes and bicycle brakes. And perhaps she might have come to a very nasty end, if it weren't for her devoted nanny, Polly Pugh.
Polly Pugh is resourceful and brave, and so is Dimanche, so between them they make a great pair. When Valburga Vilemile finally dismisses Polly Pugh and tries to pack Dimanche off to boarding school, they decide to run away.
They pack their camping equipment and slip away in the dead of night. It isn't an easy expedition:
Off at the edges of the fields a cuckoo called, its two-note song floating back to Dimanche and Polly as though down a tunnel. How do they make that noise? Dimanche wondered. And why don't we ever see them? And why don't they make nests of their own? And how am I going to keep up with Polly all day long? She felt too hot, but didn't want to remove any part of her disguise. Polly may have guessed some of what Dimanche was thinking. She didn't say anything about cuckoos, but she did say that once they were deep in the woods they'd stop to rest, and eat the food Tom Shovel had given them.
Do they manage to outwit the wicked Valburga?
Yes, of course, but to find out how, you'll have to read the book. I think you'll love it - and also Dimanche, Polly Pugh, Tom Shovel, Papa Fettler, and all the other brilliant friends she makes along the way.
A short novel. Easy to read. Highly recommended!
What can I read next?
If you enjoy Dimanche Diller, there are other adventures in this series. Have a look at:
- Dimanche Diller in Danger
- Dimanche Diller at Sea
Dimanche is a plucky kind of person. If you like Dimanche, perhaps you should meet Hazel Green?
You might also like to look at this one by Alan Temperley, about another orphan:
Also, the Bookchooser has found these books with a similar profile:
- Sebastian Darke, Prince of Fools by Philip Caveney (Score: 96%)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (Score: 93%)
- The Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones (Score: 89%)
- Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones (Score: 89%)
- The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud (Score: 89%)
Dimanche Diller features in these lists: