Award-winning author David Almond pens the dreamlike tale of a boy rediscovering joy and beauty within and around him, even amid sorrow.
One hot summer morning, only weeks after his father’s death, Davie steps out his front door into the familiar streets of the Tyneside town that has always been his home. But this seemingly ordinary day takes on an air of mystery and tragedy as the residents learn that a boy has been killed. Despite the threat of a murderer on the loose, Davie turns away from the gossip and sets off toward the sunlit hill above town, where the real and imaginary worlds begin to blur around him. As he winds his way up the hillside, Davie sees things that seem impossible but feel utterly right, that renew his wonder and instill him with hope. Full of the intense excitement of growing up, David Almond’s tale leaves both the reader and Davie astonished at the world and eager to explore it.
Touches of humor, pithy words of Northern common sense, and moments of heightened tension and mystery provide grounding elements in the midst of the reverie…A haunting tale of embracing transformation and finding beauty in an imperfect world. —Kirkus Reviews
Through economic prose expressing Davie’s memories and keen observations, the book subtly shows the protagonist’s grief over losing his father and childhood innocence. Spanning only one day, it evokes the mysteriousness of life, the power of imagination, and moments when childhood and adulthood intertwine. —Publishers Weekly
Almond manages to craft deeply real stories touched by magic that itself feels true, being so well rooted in character and emotion—in this case, Davie’s grief. Thematic and lyrical, colored by Newcastle slang and the English countryside, this is one for the deep thinkers and those who are dealing with grief. —Booklist
In this piece of masterful storytelling, a small town offers its own brand of solace to a young teen struggling with loss. Recommended. —School Library Journal