This is a moving, funny and inspirational novel from the bestselling author of Skellig. *Shortlisted for the 2018 Costa Book Awards.*
"The day is long, the world is wide, you're young and free."
One hot summer morning, Davie steps boldly out of his front door. The world he enters is very familiar - the little Tyneside town that has always been his home - but as the day passes, it becomes ever more mysterious.
A boy has been killed, and Davie thinks he might know who is responsible. He turns away from the gossip and excitement and sets off roaming towards the sunlit hills above the town.
As the day goes on, the real and the imaginary start to merge, and Davie knows that neither he nor his world will ever be the same again.
This an outstanding novel full of warmth and light, from a multi-award-winning author. David Almond says: 'I guess it embodies my constant astonishment at being alive in this beautiful, weird, extraordinary world.'
Almond (Skellig) walks the fine line between reality and illusion in this reflective novel about a wandering boy. A few weeks after his father's death, Davie's mother urges him to go out into "the lovely world outside that door." After filling his haversack with childhood mementos and his mother's delicious bara brith, he sets out to rediscover his British town, Tyneside, which he considers a "dead-end place." But things are happening: an older boy, Jimmy Killen, is rumored to have been killed. Davie sees the body, but despite warnings of a murderer on the loose, he keeps walking, encountering figures familiar to him: a priest who is questioning his faith; Shonna Doonan and her "sweet and lovely" voice; and Zorro Craig, who is widely suspected to be Jimmy's murderer. Ghosts, too, including Davie's father, visit the boy, offering words of wisdom and a heightened awareness of the world's wonders. 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. Ages 12 up.