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This wonderful tale transports the reader from the city to the forests and fells of Northern England. Under a boundless starry sky, the unforgettable Sylvia Carr reconnects with the ancient past and discovers what it really means to be young in the world today.

Sylvia, brave hearted and rebellious, moves into wild Northumberland from the city of Newcastle. She feels alien in this huge, silent, seemingly empty landscape, but then she meets Gabriel, a strange yet familiar boy. As they roam the forests and fells together, she sees nature with new eyes. She becomes aware that the past is all around her, and is deep inside herself. From the wing of a dead buzzard, they create a hollow bone – the kind of flute that was created and used in rituals in the distant past.

This is a book of hope and joy – a book that celebrates humanity and explores the deep connections between ourselves and nature. It is timely and original. It speaks to young people about what it really is to be a human being alive today.

“Spell-binding… impossible to resist… breathless, intoxicating prose. [Almond’s] books seem to exist in their own otherworldly universe, outside all the trends in modern publishing, yet resolutely of the now.” The Glasgow Herald

“David Almond’s books are strange, unsettling wild things – unfettered by the normal constraints of children’s literature. They are, like all great literature, beyond classification.” The Guardian

“[David Almond] is that rare thing – a writer of lucid, mature elegance, who can still see the world through adolescent eyes.” The Daily Telegraph

“A writer of visionary Blakean intensity.” The Times

“A master storyteller.” The Independent


(P) 2021 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Reviews

A breathtakingly beautiful and lyrical novel
The Bookseller
A remarkable book that already feels like a classic, it is sure to become one
The Irish Times
This tale from rural Northumberland will stick with you...He explores our place in the world, our connection to nature. At some point it becomes a rather Blakean tale of self-discovery...rich, wise, and never boring
The Times Children's Book of the Week
Lyrical...hypnotic and beautifully written
The Daily Mail
Mystical
Financial Times
David Almond's novels are so simple on the surface, so hauntingly mysterious in their depths
Financial Times