Black Powder



Young Quills sticker transparent version

Young Quills 2017 Awards – Historical Association

 North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award 2017

Shortlisted for:

The Dudley Teenage Book Award 2017

The Ealing Junior Book Award 2017

The East Sussex Children’s Book Award 2017

The Lambeth Phoenix Book Award 2018

The Sefton Super Reads Teen Book Award 2017

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (British Isles) Crystal Kite Award 2017

Longlisted for:

Little Rebels Children’s Book Awards 2017

The Waverton Good Read Children’s Book Award 2016/17

More about Black Powder

Read an excerpt of Black Powder here.

Watch a short video about the story here.

See how the book cover image was created here.

To buy

All good bookshops and:





Audiobook now available

What people are saying about Black Powder

‘This historical tale is steeped in intrigue, mystery and danger… Sherrick refuses to let her characters be purely good or evil, instead she lets the complexity of the time explain why good people might be forced to consider violent acts.’

Book Trust ‘Books We Like – November 2016’

‘… a gripping story, full of the atmosphere of the time, with many heart-stopping moments.’

Primary Times – October 2016

An ‘explosive debut … packed full of excitement, danger and intrigue’ with ‘wonderful lyrical storytelling … rich descriptions’ and ‘a superb cast of characters.’

Book Lover Jo Blog

‘A rip-roaring life-and-death quest. It’s a must read.’

The Phoenix Comic Book Club – August reads

‘Bravo, Ally. You’ve written a wonderfully explosive adventure set in the turbulent year of the gunpowder plot … with impossibly divided loyalties. I loved reading about (and rooting for) Tom, though I have to admit developing a rival soft spot for his mouse. I look forward to your next novel.’

Julia Golding – Award-winning children’s author of The Diamond of Drury Lane (Cat Royal series), Mel Foster and the Demon Butler and Wolf Cry

‘… a fantastic novel with brilliant characters, a great adventure and a dollop of historical atmosphere.’

Tony Taylor – The Book Bag

‘Sherrick’s exciting novel provides a fascinating English history lesson while exploring important themes like faith, family, loyalty and trust in times of persecution and suffering. A brilliant adventure guaranteed to set alight young imaginations…’

Pam Norfolk – Lancashire Evening Post

‘A sharp, thrilling read.’

‘… packed full of mystery, intrigue and tension … a novel embroiled with history and heart.’

Surrey Advertiser

‘I love Black Powder because it is full of adventure.’

Violet and Tilly – Doves Class – Whitchurch C of E Primary

‘… a lively, entertaining and exciting read … of great interest to all children. Ally Sherrick presents her historical story in an appealing way and the characters and setting are realistically drawn.’

Berlie Doherty – Award-winning children’s author of Street Child, The Company of Ghosts and Treason

‘This gripping adventure will capture imaginations and is likely to resonate with anybody who has ever felt like knowing which people and beliefs to trust can sometimes be extremely difficult.’

Books for Topics – Quality texts for the primary curriculum

‘With its constant reversals and twists and turns, Tom’s story is almost as complex as the plot and counter-plot of the Gunpowder Treason itself.’

Ann Turnbull – Historical Novel Society Review

‘A cracking thriller with heart.’

Lynda Waterhouse – An Awfully Blog Adventure

‘A truly thrilling read and highly recommended to confident readers.’

Library Girl and Book Boy Blog

Black Powder would make an excellent project focus for KS2 History “Pupils should be taught about events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally [for example, … events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries]” because it’s so exciting … In short, you want plotting, danger and excitement all in the strange and fascinating 17th century? Then Black Powder is the book for you.’

K.M. Lockwood – Serendipity Reviews