A beautiful, gripping story, perfect for children learning to read. Winner of the Carnegie Medal. Every day Annie walks by the lonely marsh from her remote cottage to school. Only in winter, when the wind howls in the trees, is Annie ever afraid. Her sister Willa is pregnant and Annie is overjoyed when she comes home to have her baby. Annie tells Willa the names of local plants and Willa tells Annie about the ghost, murdered by highwaymen, who is said to haunt the old forge nearby. Then, on a terrible night, with the phone lines down, Willa goes into labour. Annie is terrified of the ghost, but knows she must brave the storm to fetch help. As she ventures into the night, a horseman swings into view. He offers to take Annie to town. But who is this horseman? The Reading Ladder series helps children to enjoy learning to read. It features well-loved authors, classic characters and favourite topics, so that children will find something to excite and engage them in every title they pick up. It's the first step towards a lasting love of reading. Level 3 Reading Ladder titles are perfect for fluent readers who are beginning to read exciting, challenging stories independently. It features: varied sentences; detailed illustrations to enjoy; chapters; interesting characters and themes; a rich range of vocabulary; and, more complex storylines to stretch confident readers. All Reading Ladder titles are developed with a leading literacy consultant, making them perfect for use in schools and for parents keen to support their children's reading. Book band: White.