Two young boys, an old tramp, a beautiful lost dancer and her baby - rag-tag survivors of a sudden war - form a fragile family holding together in the remnants of a fun fair. This is a vivid, poetic story about life in the margins and the power of empathy and imagination to triumph over adversity.
Skip's an outsider, a quiet observer. He draws pictures to make sense of the world. He's never fitted in. So he takes to the streets. Life there may be hard, but it's better than the one he's left, especially when he teams up with old Billy. Then come the bombs which leave little Max in his care, and also Tia, the sad dancer, with her sweet baby, Sixpence. Scavenging for food, living on love and imagination...how long can Skip's fragile new family hold out as war grips the city?
'I love how outcasts, eccentrics and the uncommon qualities of being human emerge as heroes in Glenda Millard's novels. The authenticity of the characters comes from her willingness to expose her soul with every sentence.' Stephen Michael King
'This book shows how the kindness of strangers can often be purest, and how those who have nothing can be the richest people in the world.' Anna, age 15
'It made me think about what was important in life.' Keely, age 14
Honour List for 2012 International Board of Books for Young People
2011 USBBY (United States Board of Books for Young People) list of Outstanding International Books for children and young adults
Honour Book, 2010 Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year - Older Readers
Shortlisted, 2010 NSW Premier's Literary Awards - Ethel Turner Prize for young people's literature
Winner, Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Young Adult Book Award 2009
Shortlisted, 2009 Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Long Fiction
Glenda Millard began thinking about the main character for this book after noticing a newspaper headline about 'urban tribes', and she wondered what life would be like for a young homeless boy, living with people thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. While the backdrop for this story is war, her intention was to capture the indomitable nature of hope.
Glenda has written picture books, short stories and novels for children and young adults. The Naming of Tishkin Silk was an Honour Book in the 2004 CBC Awards and shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Literary Awards. Layla Queen of Hearts was a winner in the 2007 Queensland Premier's Awards and was shortlisted in the CBC awards. Kaito's Cloth was also shortlisted in the 2007 Queensland Premier's Literary Awards.
ALLEN & UNWIN
A & U CHILDREN
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