ISBN: 9781925335767

At the End of Holyrood Lane

From: USD $15.99

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Flick is just like any other youngster. She loves to chase butterflies and jump in autumn leaves. But life at the end of Holyrood Lane is often violent and unpredictable due to the constant storms that plague her home, causing her to cringe with dread and flee whenever they strike. Visually arresting, emotionally incisive, and ultimately uplifting, this beautifully crafted picture book provides a sensitive glimpse into one aspect of domestic violence and how it can affect young lives.

Click here to view Teacher’s Notes


WINNER OF THE 2019 SCWBI Crystal Kite Award, Australia/New Zealand Division.

Congratulations Dimity and Nicky!



SPECIFICATIONS: Hardback / Paperback | 245 x 255 mm / 9.5 x 10 Inches | Colour | 32 Pages | EK Books


Dimity Powell writes for children because she would secretly love to be one again. To support this fantasy she produces sometimes silly, sometimes sad, always sparkly stories for school magazines, anthologies, online apps as creative digital content, and as junior novels and picture books.

Many of her stories have been shortlisted or won awards including her digital narrative, The Chapel of Unlove for the Story City App, shortlisted for the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards 2016. Two of her picture books feature on the Kindergo App and appear as part of Virgin Australia’s Inflight Children’s Entertainment Program. PS Who Stole Santa’s Mail? filled the Christmas stockings of children everywhere for the first time in 2012. At the End of Holyrood Lane is her second picture book with EK Books. The Fix-It Man, also illustrated by Nicky Johnston, debuted in 2017. Dimity is also Managing Editor of highly respected children’s literature website Kids’ Book Review, and a Books in Homes role model. Her past adventures include skiing the French Alps, Kombiing around a quarter of Australia, spotting manatees in Florida, and getting lost in the Bermuda Triangle. She’s tried a few grown-up jobs but thinks it’s more fun writing for children now because she believes that great stories — like ice-cream — are life essentials. One day, she would love to travel to Lapland and meet Santa for real.

Nicky Johnston is a primary educator, speaker and children’s book author and illustrator based in Melbourne, Australia. Passionate about raising awareness of the importance of children’s emotional wellbeing, Nicky has written books to help children deal with anxiety and develop resilience. She is an experienced public speaker and presents at parent forums, seminars and conferences. Her illustration style is described as whimsical, playful, narrative, emotive and dreamy. She works mainly in watercolour, ink and pencil. She also produces work digitally using a variety of illustration software. Her passion for sharing her creativity is evident in feedback from children and teachers after she has visited their school. Her communication style, love of teaching and storytelling, shines through and inspires the next generation of author and illustrators. Nicky’s first children’s book Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts! was adapted into a theatrical production. For five years the show has been performed at primary schools throughout Victoria, educating children dealing with anxiety and helping to develop a healthy resilience. For four years, Nicky was the Creative Director of 52-week Illustration Challenge Facebook group. This online Illustration Challenge inspires a community of artists and illustrators to create artwork using weekly theme prompts while providing a safe and encouraging environment for personal artistic development.

Nominated by Darby Jones from AusLit (University of Queensland) as their top pick for necessary conversations around domestic violence
“Through the use of metaphor, this book conveys the importance of confiding in trusted adults during times of storm and stress. It simultaneously enables educators to address DFV in a sensitive manner and establishes them as trusted individuals who children experiencing DFV can turn

Maria Marshall
It’s no wonder this team won the Crystal Kite Award. Overall, this is a book that creates a mirror for almost everyone (whether abuse or fear of storms) and an important window for the creation of empathy for anyone caught within their fear. A book which should be in every library. Click here to view

Tulsa Book Review article
“A story about getting over one’s fear of storms could come across as preachy, but here it is charismatic and approachable…Overall, this is a delightful book.” Click here to read.

Education Magazine article
“uses the metaphor of a malevolent and dangerous brooding storm to deal with the sensitive issue of domestic violence.”

Robert’s Time Out Blog website article
“I love how Dimity’s passion for words shines through her work. They always warm my heart. Her words are like a gentle hug, wrapped with love to bring joy.” Click here to read.

Kid’s Book Review review article
At the End of Holyrood Lane is recommended by Act for Kids – Preventing and treating child abuse and neglect, and supported by RizeUp Australia, a community- driven organization dedicated to supporting families affected by domestic and family violence. This is a book not to be missed with a confronting theme magnificently executed. It’s a must for every school library and home bookshelf.” Click here to read.

Buzz Word Magazine review article
“This is a sensitive book with a message of hope, bringing to the fore a child’s perspective of domestic violence and how it makes the child feel. This book should strike a chord with any child who has experienced any domestic violence and will afford a glimpse of such a situation of anyone who hasn’t. The uplifting ending will give hope to readers that help is at hand and send the message that regardless of how young you are, you can change things.” Click here to read in full.

Queensland Writer’s Centre review article
“Few picture books available today address this volatile and woefully prevalent aspect of society without overt explicitness or didactic overtones. At the End of Holyrood Lane does so in a sympathetic, non-threatening way. ”  Click here to read in full.

Just So Stories review article
“We are so blessed to have such quality writers for children in this country who are unafraid to tackle difficult subjects. This book is endorsed by ActforKids, Paradise Kids, Think Equal and will be launched on 23rd September in Brisbane. I highly recommend it for your young readers from Prep upwards and would suggest that you also bring it to the attention of your school guidance officers/psychologists.”  Click here to read in full.

Pass It On review article
“A difficult topic, handled beautifully.” Click here to read in full.

4RO Rockhampton’s Mornings with Laurie Atlas radio segment
“Hopefully this book is starting to change mindsets” Click here to listen.

Weekend Notes website article
At the end of Holyrood Lane addresses domestic violence in a very sympathetic and non-threatening way. It is evocatively and beautifully illustrated by Melbourne-based illustrator Nicky Johnston” Click here to read.

Australia Teacher Magazine magazine article
“Uses stunning visual metaphor to offer a ray of hope to kids facing dark days.” Click here to read.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper article
“Endorsed as a resource to help children witnessing domestic violence, this gentle story explores coping with fear in general.” Click here to read.

LAFM Launceston radio segment
“Designed to be visually arresting, emotionally incisive, and ultimately uplifting, the book is a tale of anxiety shown through the eyes of a small child with an intense dislike for thunderstorms — a fear shared by many young children. This sensitive duality of meaning evokes a gentle awareness for young readers who may be suffering their own domestic torment but who are too scared or confused to seek shelter from their own storms, whatever their nature.” Click here to listen.

Boomerang Books blog article
“If there ever was a story that so finely balances a highly delicate topic with exquisitely gentle language and a resolution that makes your heart swell, it’s At the End of Holyrood Lane.” Click here to read. 

Kirkus Reviews review article
“Expressive illustrations and text rich with poetic vocabulary share a sensitive story with a message about asking for help when a situation feels scary.” Click here to read.

ABC’s Mornings radio segment
“Domestic violence is a tricky subject to talk about even for adults, but sadly 1 in 4 children are exposed to it. So how do you discuss this topic with young people? Author Dimity Powell has just a book, At The End of Holyrood Lane, which has been well received by many support services.” Click here to listen.

ABC’s Drive radio segment 
“An important book… facing your fears is the first step to overcoming them” Click here to listen.

Salt FM 106.5 radio segment
“…this book with open up discussion with little ones so they feel they can reach out to people when they are frightened” Click here to listen.

89.2 LAFM’s The Drive Home radio segment
“Discussing sensitive topics with young children is not easy and it is important to tread with delicate steps. Domestic Violence is a big problem in today’s society and something that concerns entire families including young children. Author Dimity Powell and illustrator Nicky Johnston have come together to create a story that brings hope to those in need.”  Click here to read.

NZ Book Lovers blog post
“At the End of Holyrood Lane provides a sensitive glimpse into one aspect of domestic violence and how it can affect young lives.” Click here to read.

Story Links 
“This quietly powerful story is an extended metaphor about domestic violence in a child’s life.” Click here to read.

Gold Coast Bulletin newspaper article
“Storm metaphors as the key to a Gold Cast authors quest to deliver what many think would be impossible, a picture book for young children about domestic violence.” Click here to read.

Noosa News newspaper article
“For some children feeling unsafe in their own home is a sad reality, especially when they are exposed to violence or domestic dispute. Now a new picture book is aiming to tackle the issue using visual metaphor to offer hope and confidence to those feeling in the dark.” Click here to read.

Mums Delivery magazine article
“…seeks to provide hope to families affected by outright violence.” Click here to read.

Bub Hub review article
“This book uses the storm metaphor to gently reach out to children who are facing their own torments, particularly those children living with domestic and family violence in the home, but also will resonate with children battling their own inner storms.” Click here to read.

Swings + Roundabouts magazine article
“At the End of Holyrood Lane provides a glimpse into an aspect of domestic violence and how it can affect young lives. The text is very subtle so the underlying story will not be picked up by all children and the storm could be a metaphor for a variety of situations including as simple as being afraid of storms.” Click here to read.

What’s Up Downunder Magazine review article
The illustrations show Flick’s fear and joy, the darkness of storms and the glory of a sunny day. If you know someone who is helping children deal with domestic violence, this is the book for them.” Click here to read.

One More Page PODcast review podcast
Dimity’s use of nature and its elements as a metaphor for the turmoil caused by violence in a family is beautifully done. The poetic language carries us through Flick’s journey until she finds the ability to reach out for help. What really lifts this book to the next level is Nicky Johnston’s illustrations. The way she hides human forms with the raging storm of nature is just gorgeous. … a brave book”. Click here to listen.

Blue Wolf Reviews review article
 At The End of Holyrood Lane is a landmark book on a subject which is a no longer a hidden, tragic aspect life. The skilful use of thunderstorms and stormy skies as metaphors, coupled with simple and yet powerful illustrations makes this a book which should be on the shelves of kindergarten and school libraries and used as an instructive talking time in classrooms.” Click here to read.

The Book Chook review article
“At the End of Hollyrood Lane is enigmatic. Different children will be able to interpret the story in different ways. I think this is excellent, as children can detect a preachy, didactic tone from a mile away. Kudos to both author and illustrator for a successful creation that I hope will enrich many children’s lives.”
Click here to read.

Mum’s Delivery Magazine magazine article
“Visually arresting…” Click here to read.

Reading Time review article
“This is an important book for children, especially those who have experienced the terrible reality of violence in the home. I could imagine this being used by therapists working with children of all ages. It could also be used in the classroom to open up conversation and empower children to seek help when they need it.” Click here to read.

Mums at the Table television segment
“Such a clever, powerful and stunning picture book. The duality of meaning makes it a story about being brave for most children while giving it the potential to speak volumes to those experiencing domestic violence. Encourages children to speak up and seek help whenever they are afraid.” Click here to read.


“At The End of Holyrood Lane is a beautiful story about a little girl who is terrified by the storm that chases and scares her but when Flick reaches out for help she finally becomes safe and the sunshine comes out.  Dimity Powell should be commended for the gentle way in which she approaches the challenges faced by so many children growing up in a house of violence.  RizeUp is proud to support Dimity and her beautiful story and we are sure it will touch the lives of so many children and their parents in a positive way.”
– Nicolle Edwards, CEO RizeUp

“Paradise Kids has helped heal the heartache of children’s grief for over 20 years. Many children coming to Paradise Kids have experienced the trauma and loss of innocence of childhood from domestic violence. Children feel helpless in the face of wrath and stormy emotions and have no safe place in which feel their many strong feelings. Dimity again dares to touch on what is normally a forbidden subject for children: the devastation of domestic violence. Children are often silent witnesses to this rampant abuse. Their little lives are traumatized and they live with a continual fight and flight response present in them which is detrimental to their body, mind and spirit health. With delicacy, and ultimately hope, Dimity’s lyrical words and Nicky’s evocative illustrations touch on hope in the midst of terror. With beautiful metaphors and symbolism  this book brings to light awareness of children who suffer and who are vulnerable in our society.  Paradise Kids helps children emotionally regulate, even though they can’t change what is happening around them. We can help them ‘heal the heartache’ through psycho-education about the trauma process through art, story-telling, movement, nature, music and literature. We are excited to add this deeply touching story to our Paradise Kids Library.”

– Deirdre Hanna, Founder Hopewell Hospice Services Inc. and Paradise Kids

“The End of Holyrood Place is a beautiful, non-didactic exploration of family violence. Unlike many other books broaching the subject, it deals with verbal abuse directed at the child protagonist. The illustrations show the parent figure in silhouette as a storm, and the other adult figure as a refuge from the storm. Highly suitable for teachers to read to Early Primary classes.”

–  Dr Zewlan Moor, Byron Bibliotherapy



What Book Next? Reviewed
“A sensitive story about the ‘storms’ young children often face under domestic violence. Flick faces fear, flight and confusion as she navigates these ‘storms’ – until one day she decides to be even braver and ask for help. Sad, clever and gorgeous.” Click here to read

Additional information

Book Type

Paperback, Hardback

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