The Song From Somewhere Else by A.F. Harrold, illustrated by Levi Pinfold and published by Bloomsbury is an enchanting and striking middle grade book for around ages 8 and up.
It’s the summer holidays, Frank’s best friends are all away on holiday and just to make matters worse her beloved pet cat has disappeared. Heading out to the playing fields to put up posters in the hope of finding him she is accosted by the school bullies.
She doesn’t know what to think when she is rescued from them by the boy at school that no one wants to talk to, Nick Underbridge. Nick is big, he’s weird and he’s that kid that everyone says smells. But after hiding out from the bullies at Nick’s house Frank finds she feels strangely comforted there. And then she hears the music.
The music seeps into every pore of Frank’s body and makes her feel as light as air. Only as suddenly as it began it fades away. But something about the music has taken hold of her and she is compelled to discover where it came from and to hear it again.
Finding an excuse to go back to Nick’s house, she sneaks into the basement and there discovers the source of the music and the most magical secret that suddenly explains all of Nick’s differences.
A clever and thought provoking book about bullying, the pressure to fit in and finding friendship where you don’t expect it. This is all wrapped up in the most fantastic story of an imaginative other world living separately alongside ours that occasionally breaks through the gaps with both frightening and wonderful consequences.
The dark and evocative illustrations throughout the book are true works of art as the shadowy black and white images further intensify the mystery in this this tale, drawing the reader deeper into its secrets. The characters have an incredible amount of depth to them and it is difficult not to warm to both Frank and Nick.
There is a serious, sometimes sad mood to this book, yet the supernatural element feels anything but forced as the writing effortlessly sways into another world and back again. A gripping middle grade fantasy book that is full of suspense whilst also remaining mature and sensitive.
Buy The Song From Somewhere Else from Wordery with free delivery.
Many thanks to Bloomsbury for sending a copy of this book for review.
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