Emma Tupper's Diary

About the Book

Sensible Emma Tupper stays with her wild Scots cousins, in whose private loch there is rumoured to be a monster. They also own the duplicate of one of the earliest submarines, in which they discover the reality behind the rumours, and then have to decide whether to exploit their find or conceal it and protect its precarious existence.

Author Comment

For some reason this was great fun to write, and I’m told that comes through. It continues the ecological themes of The Changes, and its climax is not the final derring-do exploit but the family debate about what should now be done with the discovery.


ALA Notable Book - 1972

A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book - 1972


Loch Ness’s claims pale beside the super-exciting discovery made by Emma...Expert mystification, the tender conscience and burning courage of the young, tantalising details, make this a compelling tall story. Sunday Times

...narration par excellence...The characters and dialogue are yeasty with fun and Emma is a quiet foil for the sometimes mad exuberance of her cousins. Saturday Review

One of the most enthralling books for older children that I have ever read. Peter Dickinson is master of suspense. Evening Standard

One of my favorite childhood books...Its themes and plot have come around again, and a smart production company should scoop it up for a film adaptation. Atomic Librarian

Emma Tupper of Botswana goes to spend the summer in Scotland with her bizarre and hilarious, cantankerous, feuding cousins and writes about it in her journal. They launch a plan to create a Loch Ness hoax in order to make some money to keep the family going. This involves an ancient submarine and leads to a fascinating discovery when the feud goes too far. Great adventure, for fans of Swallows and Amazons. Jenny Craig, Seattle Public Library

An enthralling book, with fascinating characters, told with humor and wit, and with a story that just might, barely, be possible. Book Loons


Gollancz, UK - 1971

Atlantic-Little Brown Books, US - 1971

Puffin Books, UK - 1971

Big Mouth House, US - 2014