EVENT: We Played With Fire online book launch with Catherine Barter & Fen Coles

Thursday 4th February 2021, 7pm-8pm


Join us for the launch of We Played With Fire by Catherine Barter. Catherine will be in conversation with Fen Coles, co-director of radical children’s bookseller Letterbox Library. The event will take place over Zoom.

We Played With Fire (Andersen Press) is a YA novel inspired by the true story of the Fox Sisters, the girls who made their fortune in nineteenth century America by speaking to ghosts.


Maggie has witnessed impossible things. But no one believes her, and now her family has taken her away to spend the winter upstate in a remote, freezing farmhouse. Bored and angry, Maggie and her younger sister Kate start to play tricks: rapping on the floorboards above their parents’ bedroom, cracking their toes under the table, and telling tales about noises in the night.

Then the house starts to make sounds of its own. Neither Maggie nor Kate can explain it, but it seems as though someone – or something – is trying to speak to them . .


Catherine Barter grew up in Warwickshire, and then lived in Norwich for ten years. After gaining a PhD in American literature, she ditched academia for the lucrative world of independent bookselling. She now lives in London and is one of the co-managers at Housmans Bookshop. With Letterbox Library, she also helps to co-ordinate the Little Rebels Children’s Book Award for radical children’s fiction. We Played With Fire is her second novel.

Fen Coles is co-director of Letterbox Library, a 32-year-old children’s booksellers and workers’ cooperative, specialising in inclusive children’s books. Fen has worked at Letterbox Library since 2005. Prior to this she worked in the LGBT and women’s charitable sector, and taught Lesbian Cultural Studies to adult returners (while completing her PhD in lesbian horror films.) Fen is also co-founder and coordinator of the Little Rebels Children’s Book Award.