Polly and Rachel Donnison live with their parents in literary Islington, North London, and they are perfectly suited to the area. They have produced a children’s book, Henderson the Supermarket Cat, praised by the London Times Literary Supplement as “colorful, varied and full of humor.” Polly, 17, the shy, blond sister (right, above), did the illustrations, Rachel, 22, the outgoing one, was the writer. The story of Henderson (who foils a daring daytime robbery at a market) was written on the back of paper bags while Rachel was working at a local market during holidays from school. Polly drew and wrote her first book, William the Dragon, when she was 11 and says, “I was writing stories before I could write. I would tell Dad what I wanted and he would write it down for me.” Rachel says, “We created Henderson one night, but it took us a year before we worked it out.” Neither sister has time to add a sequel to Henderson now. Polly goes to a comprehensive high school near home, and Rachel (who has a B.A. in politics) plans to enter law school in February. Besides, both agree that when it comes to writing and illustrating books, it “would be very hard, indeed, to make a living at it.”
Bradley Thomas knew about fencing only from television until, at 8, he wandered into a class in progress near his home in Los Angeles. By the time it was over he asked the coach if he could join. Now 16, Bradley has racked up enough titles to fill three pages in the record book—if you count only the important ones—and is one of the top contenders to represent the U.S. in the under-20 category at the World Fencing Championships in Poland next April. His coach, Delmar Calvert, a Frenchman who fenced in the Foreign Legion, remembers him as a “shy, skinny kid” but soon discovered an aggressive side to Bradley which Calvert predicts will make him national champion in four years. Though he currently is ranked 22nd nationally in saber competition, Bradley says he will be ready to compete in the 1980 Olympics—he has already earned six of the necessary 100 points needed to qualify. “By then, I will have the mental and physical strength I need. Right now, when I compete with adults, I know I have the potential, but their age is such an advantage. Fencing is a psychological, tactical sport.” He’s got a point.