The Dam

The Dam

Kielder Water is a wild and beautiful place, rich in folk music and legend.

Years ago, before a great dam was built to fill the valley with water, there were farms and homesteads in that valley and musicians who livened their rooms with song.

After the village was abandoned and before the waters rushed in, a father and daughter returned there. The girl began to play her fiddle, bringing her tune to one empty house after another — for this was the last time that music would be heard in that place.

With exquisite artwork by Levi Pinfold, David Almond’s lyrical narrative – inspired by a true tale – pays homage to his friends Mike and Kathryn Tickell and all the musicians of Northumberland, to show that music is ancient and unstoppable, and that dams and lakes cannot overwhelm it.

"With its every detail – its masterful illustrations, its landscape format, and the elegant text that offers readers a way to see the promise of new life from what has been destroyed – this book triumphs."

Kirkus Reviews (USA)

"With riveting language and moody art, this true story will evoke awe and reverence of place for even very young readers."

Publishers Weekly (USA)

" a poignant collaboration between David Almond and illustrator Levi Pinfold, filled with wordless landscapes and harmonies heard deep in the reader’s mind…"

The Guardian

"Perhaps the most extraordinarily lovely and melancholy picture book published this year.."

BookPage (USA)

"This stunning, wild and atmospheric picture book by two giants of children’s literature tells the true story of a musician father and his daughter who, before the community is lost, enter each house in the valley and play music, sing and dance in each one, so that they will always contain music – and magic.."

BookTrust

The Dam, illustrated by Levi Pinfold, was published on 11th September 2018.

The Colour of the Sun

The Colour of the Sun

"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."

"The Colour of the Sun, told in a trance-like present tense, remans brilliantly suspenseful until the end. …[David Almond] is that rare thing – a writer of lucid, mature elegance, who can still see the world through adolescent eyes."

Emily Bearn, The Daily Telegraph

"Oh, bliddy hell. I don’t know what to say! This is the thing with David Almond. You could spend a year picking tiny little details from his stories so that you can highlight how magical they are. Or you could write about the achingly beautiful way he connects our inner selves with the material world so that what he is writing could be a dream, an event, or both. But whatever you do, it feels as though a review takes away all the magic. I say it often but it’s never so true as when I’m saying it about a book by Almond – you really do have to read it for yourself to understand – …"

Jill Murphy, The Bookbag

Published by Hodder Children’s Books: publication date 3rd May 2018.

The Tale of Angelino Brown

The Tale of Angelino Brown

Bert and Betty Brown have got themselves a little angel.

Bert found him in his top pocket when he was driving his bus. Bert and Betty’s friends think he’s lovely. So do Nancy and Jack and Alice from Class 5K. What a wonder!

But Acting Head Teacher Mrs Mole is not so sure. Nor is Professor Smellie. Or the mysterious bloke in black who claims to be a School Inspector.

Then there’s Basher Malone – big, lumbering Basher Malone. He REALLY doesn’t like Angelino. And it looks like he’s out to get him…

star"Almond’s dry wit will bring smiles, and his underlying message about good and evil may shake up some preconceived notions."

Publishers Weekly

The Tale of Angelino Brown is illustrated by Alex T. Smith. It was nominated for both the Carnegie and the Kate Greenaway medal for 2018.

It is published by Walker Books.

Island

The cover of 'Island'

Sixteen-year old Louise travels with her father to the island of Lindisfarne every year ever since she can remember – it’s the place Louise’s mother loved best of all.The arrival of Hassan from war-torn Syria changes everything. Louise is restless and yearning for independence, and the fiercely free and self-reliant Hassan fascinates her. He seems to know the island from long ago as if it were his home from birth. Hassan is an acrobat, maybe a sorcerer, possibly a source of great danger. The wild gang of boys who call the island their home want to cast him out.

The forces of love, death and hope move Louise and Hassan towards a deeper understanding of themselves and their place in a world that is both cruel and compassionate. Lindisfarne will change their lives forever.

Island is a hopeful and moving coming-of-age story set on the island of Lindisfarne; it was first published for World Book Day 2017.

Harry Miller’s Run

The cover of 'Harry Miller's Run'

Liam just wants to go out running with his mates–the Junior Great North Run is not far away, and there’s training to be done. But Mam needs him today, to help old Harry clear out his house. And Harry knows a thing or two about running. When he was a lad, he says, he ran from Newcastle to South Shields. “But Harry,” says Mam, “it’s thirteen miles!” Harry grins. “Different days,” he says. Here is the story of that day: of sweltering heat, clattering boots, briny sea air, and the heavenly taste of ice cream; the day when Harry and his pals ran and ran and ran through the blazing sunlight all the way to the sea.

Harry Miller’s Run was first published in February 2017.