The Abandoned Rule Book – Ellie Booton’s Journal No. 3

Here it is: Ellie Booton’s Journal No. 3.  Just a brief explanation of how it came to be. At the bottom of this page, there’s a Sky News film which, if you watch it, will change your life.

When I first started writing Ellie’s Journal, No. 1, she was 11 years old. She’d come to live with with her family at Grandma’s house overlooking the sea, following her granddad’s death. It was a tough transition: new home, new school, new family dynamic and needing new friends. It was a tumultuous summer. Her voice is young, spirited, and a little naive. It was a time of challenge and triumph and a steep learning curve.

Strong characters emerge: Cooper, a boy who internalizes struggle, but acts on instinct. Elsie, who has her own way of protecting people. Juna, who creeps about like a shadow, waiting for someone to discover she’s real. Gilby, whose surface behaviour is only the tip of the iceberg. And Ellie, who insightfully records and analyses life through her journal. 

The Lighthouse Code, Journal 2 – Ellie’s life descends into winter. The school play seems like a fun distraction – but it’s a stage where real-life struggles are played out. The mystery of the seemingly random letters flashed at night from the lighthouse, add an extra layer of concern. Are they a warning? Someone is obviously trying to get a message out – but who is it for, and what does it mean?

The Abandoned Rule Book, Journal 3 –  it’s summer again. School’s out and the holiday promises to to be a seriously chilled time. Ellie is 12 years old and going through the pain of growing up and maturing. Her journal shows how life can change at a moment’s notice and leads her to ask, how much control do we really have over our lives? Grandma thinks this “wind of change” is a good thing. Ellie sees it as a force disrupting relationships. There’s mystery in the air, as Ellie seems to slip into an alternate universe, where the things she counted on seem to blow away. And then, one stormy night – she sees something that will change everything…

You can buy the books by following this link: Flinty Maguire books


The Abandoned Rule Book was in the pipeline for too long. I started writing it three years ago – we moved home – from inland to coast – and life settled into a different pattern. It was important to finish the book – and I cracked on. This book is not for me. It’s for Kimbilio, a children’s sanctuary in DR Congo, which I became involved with almost by accident following the film below. So, if you buy this book, (THANK YOU so much) the royalties from it will go straight to Kimbilio, supporting these vulnerable children who have, by chance, been born into circumstances of struggle and exploitation. You may not know it – but the cobalt in the rechargeable battery of your smartphone, electric car, laptop, may well have been mined by a child.

Sky News reporter, Alex Crawford:

“We need to be holding huge corporations who make billions of pounds and dollars every year from selling these items – we need to be asking, ‘Do you know how you’re making these billions of pounds – and if you don’t know – why don’t you know? And if you do know, why aren’t you doing something about it?'”

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