Peter Castle and his family are nearing the end of their holiday in France. They've stopped for a picnic on their way to the ferry which will take them home to England, and Peter has found a cave to explore.
But then Peter's parents have an argument. The picnic is abruptly over, and they want to get going, back on to the autoroute. Peter is left behind. He's lost, with no money, no food, and very little knowledge of the French language. The cave that he had imagined himself living in must now become his 'home' and the survival games that Peter has imagined are now for real.
I've always been fascinated by survival. When I can't go to sleep, I sometimes imagine myself being cast away on a desert island, and I try to work out how I'd manage. When my son William was eleven, he was interested in survival too. He had the SAS Survival Handbook. It's a great read. Really interesting. It tells you how to light fires, make traps, sew up a wound, and which plants to eat.
I really enjoyed writing Hiding Out and imagining how I would cope if I was in Peter's situation.
Winner of the Smarties Young Judges Award