Greencoats

Magic begins when reality is impossible to bear . . .

After a bomb explodes in Gwen’s street during the Birmingham Blitz, she is sent to the safety of her eccentric aunt’s woodland cottage. But she soon discovers that the countryside has its own peculiar dangers.

The woods are alive with strange, magical creatures wielding frightening powers – and to protect herself and her new friends, Gwen must face them, and outwit them, alone.

Greencoats is aimed at readers aged 8+ but seems to be loved by adults just as much. Although the main character is a girl, Eddie, (Gwen’s new friend), has a very important role in the plot, and the book has proved popular with boys just as much as girls.

Greencoats has been beautifully illustrated by Anna Streetly – a very talented artist based in Shrewsbury. See more of her work at @magpiemateria or follow the link below:

https://www.instagram.com/magpiemateria/

Buy a signed copy via my online shop

Signed copies can also be purchased from the following Indie Bookshops in Shropshire: BookShrop, Burway Books, Castle Books, Pengwern Books and The Poetry Pharmacy.

Online - Greencoats available as an ebook and paperback from Amazon https://amzn.to/3iwMQKo and as a paperback from Choosie https://choosie.co.uk/product/greencoats/

Greencoats illustration by Anna Streetly


In Greencoats the magic feels real and the reality magical. Tense, compassionate and lyrical, I devoured it in a weekend. Highly recommended.’ Caroline Lawrence – author of The Roman Mysteries

Kate at the poetry pharmacy

Kate signing books at the Poetry Pharmacy, Bishops Castle

kate innes greencoats class visit 2021

A school visit with Year 3 in an outdoor classroom, July 2021

holly for greencoats

Holly is a very important tree and character in 'Greencoats'!

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The wood which inspired the story - with author's dog, Delphi.

Here are some of the reviews so far:


In Greencoats the magic feels real and the reality magical. Tense, compassionate and lyrical, I devoured it in a weekend. Highly recommended.’ Caroline Lawrence – author of The Roman Mysteries

A gorgeous book - full of hope, mystery and strangeness. Reminded me of Green Knowe a little - that same sense of another world just out of the corner of the eye... Utterly delightful and compelling.’ Liz Hyder – author of Bearmouth

Information and Resources for Teachers:


Greencoats is a middle grade, historical fantasy set during the Blitz and told from the perspective of a resilient girl evacuated from Birmingham. The story brings nature, myth and history together in a thrilling, cathartic adventure.

The plot of Greencoats blends aspects of folklore with our pressing concern for dwindling natural spaces, exploring issues of grief, mental health and the fallout of war.

Tracey Cansdale – the Head of ChristChurch Primary School, Cressage – has created a scheme of work based on Greencoats, which is free to use and downloadable. It is suitable for KS2 – and written with Years 3 - 4 in mind, covering English, History and Art.

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Greencoats by Kate Innes - Planning for LKS2

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Day 1 Using front cover and blurb

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Day 2 Birmingham in WW2 - genre of historical fiction

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Day 2 Quiz on Historical Fiction Genre

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Day 3 Vocabulary Checklist

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Day 4 - Creating tension in writing

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Day 4 Creating tension in writing checklist

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Day 5 Yew Trees-converted

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Day 6 Direct Speech-converted

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Day 6 Direct speech checklist

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Day 7 Character description of Gelyn

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Day 7 Gleyn resource for children

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Day 10 Prepositions in Folklore

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Day 10 Traditions checklist

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Day 12 Local Area in Greencoats-converted

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Other subjects which could be explored through the story include:

  • trees
  • fossils
  • habitats
  • myths
  • local history (for the West Midlands)

If you would like to book an author visit and/or order books for your school at a discounted rate, get in touch with Kate on the Contact page

Author visits can be designed to fit your timetable and curriculum needs. I am DBS checked for school visits through the Shropshire Museum Service.

Reviews by teachers:


I read this story for young people (even though I'm 59!) . . . It's a page-turner from the start as the young protagonist is evacuated to the countryside to stay with Aunt Tiny and experience a different life from the one she's known with her parents. Part-way through the book, magical and mysterious elements are interwoven but meanwhile the human stories, which are very powerful, continue. The settings are beautifully described and the relationships convincing. It reminded me of another book for children: Carrie's War.’

Fran Hill – English teacher and author of Miss, What does Incomprehensible Mean?

 https://www.franhill.co.uk

The fact there is a female lead, who is brave and strong creates a good role model for girls, but because she has a helpful male friend, boys would not dismiss it. … There is an embedded message to take care of trees and wild places, but it is inferred rather than preachy. This book is suitable for any age from juniors to adult. It would be very suitable for using in schools with years 4 through to 8, as there is plenty to link to studies. In some ways the story is a page turner but the book repays re-reading, as it is beautifully written. It does not shy away from difficult subjects like bereavement and mental illness but by being upfront about these things, brings comfort. Highly recommended.’

Angela Topping – teacher, poet and author https://angelatopping.wordpress.com