Life not so magic in hard-hitting kids book that’s no Potter

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Sex, drugs and horse riding - that’s how Kate Hanney describes her new novel.

Which might make it a touch controversial. She’s a high school teacher and it’s aimed at teenagers.

The 40-year-old penned Safe as an antidote to the broomsticks and boarding schools featured in the likes of Harry Potter.

And she hopes the hard-hitter will, like two previous novels she’s had published, be used as course material in Sheffield schools.

“Life isn’t all wizards and wands for the kids I teach,” says the Miss at Holgate Meadows Community School in Parson Cross. “It can be hard, and what they tell me is they want to read but something that relates to their lives.”

She’s released the book - a modern-day Romeo and Juliet featuring a bad lad and posh lass falling in love over the hay and horse manure of a riding stables - through her own publishing label, Applecore.

Her previous two works, Watermelon and Someone Different, were used in Sheffield schools including Hinde House in Wincobank.

“The best feeling is when you get a letter from a parent saying they’re son or daughter had never read until they found your books,” says Kate, a mother-of-two of Ecclesfield. “That makes all the effort - and any controversy - worth while.”