Stomachs don t lie A beautifully written, captivating story about a main character who discovers new, mysterious worlds outside of herself and new worlds inside of herself as she learns to love and value someone different and listen to her gut. Quietly beautiful A fairytale whispered in the concrete yards of terraced houses, this book grows and grows as AF Harrold leads us through a story about friendship Levi Pinfold s illustrations capture the fantasy in our reality too, making this an extraordinary and unique experience. This book was sent to me by the publisher, Bloomsbury, at no cost It will be out in Australia in December 2016 RRP 24.99 hardback Recommended ages 9 12.Uh, wow This book is utterly beautiful and wonderful Both the prose and the object itself.The story bullied girl one day gets rescued by the weird, despised kid She goes back to his house where she hears haunting, enchanting music, so she goes back the next day Things get weirder over the next couple of days and worse, and better There s kind of magic, and real friendship, and problems to overcome I smiled I had tears I audibly gasped This is one of those gentle, insistent, wonderful books that make me happy to be reading It kinda reminded me of Patrick Rothfuss Slow Regard of Silent Things there s plot here, but the sensibility somehow feels similar This is also one of those books where I think by golly I hope I m not one of those sorts of adults Harrold has captured Frank s voice wonderfully, and an attitude towards adults their jokes are embarrassing, they can t or won t help with bullies, they re basically oblivious that feels all too real.Other things I love about Frank she has regular cranky discussion with her stomach, which tells her to ignore interesting if maybe dangerous things, points out that things are about to go badly, and occasionally ostentatiously ignores proceedings and reads a newspaper instead Pure magic Also, her name is Francesca Patel One old lady makes some passing comment about do they have tuna where you re from but otherwise, that s just her name and I have no idea what she or anyone in her family looks like Oh yes she has a family There was a slight undertone of Archer s Goon here not that the family gets involved, but that they re present and loving This is a really nice take on the weird things are happening to the kid but the family has no idea trope, without the family seeming evil for their ignorance.And the book itself The version I have is a smallish hardback The pictures, by Levi Pinfold, are gorgeous Many of the pages have story appropriate shadows about the edges, and the text largely stays away from them, which is really cute The front cover gives you an idea of what the internal illustrations look like as if they re maybe done in pencil I don t know, I m no artist, but they re delicate and rely on shadow and light and they re a wonderful complement to the text One slight warning if you are distressed by descriptions of bullying then this may be just a bit too much for you I have horrible memories of The Chocolate War and usually hate those sorts of books and I found the treatment of Frank by the bullies quite nasty But what makes it work here is that Frank, while definitely and understandably affected, isn t completely ground down She doesn t pretend that everything is ok, and some days it affects her than others, but she ends up coping And my heart sang when, seeing one of the bullies having been attacked, she decides to help him This wasn t about him, was it It was about her and who she wanted to be She wanted to be a better person Better than him at least And not because it was a competition, just because 161 YES Just because I love it.I have every intention of holding onto this book I don t keep every book and putting it into the hands of any kid and possibly adult I can. Rese a completa Es un libro que deber a ser le do por mucha gente por todo lo que trasmiten sus p ginas Es una historia dura que te rompe el coraz n en muchos momentos por la realidad tan cruda que viven muchos ni os en sus d as La parte de fantas a me ha gustado mucho pero me hubiera gustado que se profundizar m s en ella, me he quedado con ganas de m s El final de la historia me ha parecido perfecto, por eso seguro que vuelvo a leer un libro de este mismo g nero Una Canci n De Muy Lejos es una historia que mezcla la realidad con la fantas a, un libro que tendr a que leer mucha gente por el tema principal del que trata y que por desgracia est al orden del d a Rese a completa This book is beautiful and terrifying the perfect read for kids who like things a little creepy and different Things I loved talking cat, friendship, overcoming bullying, gorgeous illustrations. No voy a negar que ha sido una lectura bastante extra a, pero tambi n ha sido fascinante ir descubriendo poco a poco esta historia tan diferente, que trata sobre el amor, la amistad, y la valent a que est dentro de todos nosotros. I rarely use the word love about a book, but this one has a place in my heart Harrold manages to capture both the mundane and magical concerns and conflicts of a young girl who must navigate herself through a remarkable series of events It is also not often that I find myself unable to put the book down I hate this cliche but I was able to put my trust fully into the thoughtful, unpredictable and well rounded plot, feeling a wonderful sense of clarity, resolution, and coming full circle at the ending that I had missed with The Imaginary The characters were each complex and faintly familiar they could have been any number of nondescript people from my own childhood I thought Harrold s decision to treat Frank s conscience stomach as it s own character was an ingenious device to allow her internal struggles to play out for the reader, who grow ever sympathetic to her as she becomes increasingly and unapologetically honest with herself and her decisions Several tropes reminded me of The Imaginary, and I enjoyed these elements in both stories the cat bridging protecting the entrances to two or worlds dark, shadowy, greedy villains who try to seep into worlds in which they don t belong and of unlikely unorthodox friendships This was truly a heartwarming and enriching read I would recommend this to children and adults alike, especially to the many children who like Stranger Things, as I believe this book would provide them with a similar dose of other worlds, unlikely friendships, and children coming to the rescue. I didn t think that A.F.Harrold could write something better than The Imaginary but he did I didn t think a partnership between him and Emily Gravett could be equalled or betteredbut it has been Harrold s story of an unlikely friendship between the young, female protagonist, Frank and the class misfit, Nick is one which is cleverly and neatly woven As with The Imaginary, if not so in this story, you are left asking questions that when you start the book and believe me, this is a very good thing indeed.A.F s writing borders flits between witty and sinister and this is why Pinfold s partnership is a masterstroke His eerie and uncomfortable illustrations throughout leave you with the same sense of unease as A.F s narrative For me, the story was just as dark as The Imaginary with the same strong sense of character and place I loved The Imaginary but it feels, with The Song from Somewhere Else, that the author is finding his stride, flexing his writing muscles and continuing to take his readers to worlds and ideas which have hitherto stayed hidden and uncovered On the back of my proof copy, it states that fans of Gaiman and Dahl will like this book and whilst I can see the connection to the former, I do think that this is a writer who has his own voice and style His ideas are differentstrange and almost elusive in their themes this is why I keep being drawn back to them. From The Author Of The Critically Acclaimed The Imaginary Comes A Powerful Story About Friendship In The Vein Of Roald Dahl And Neil GaimanA School Library Journal Best Book Of A Wall Street Journal Best Book Of Frank Thought Her Summer Couldn T Get Any Worse Until Big, Weird, Smelly Nick Underbridge Rescues Her From A Bully, And She Winds Up At His HouseFrank Quickly Realizes There S To Nick Than Meets The Eye When She S At His House, She Hears The Strangest, Most Beautiful Music, Music Which Leads Her To A Mysterious, Hidden Door Beyond The Door Are Amazing Creatures That She Never Even Dreamed Could Be Real For The First Time In Forever, Frank Feels Happy And She And Nick Start To Become FriendsBut Nick S Incredible Secrets Are Also Accompanied By Great Danger Frank Must Figure Out How To Help Her New Friend, The Same Way That He Has Helped HerPaired With Gorgeous Black And White Illustrations From Levi Pinfold, Acclaimed Author A F Harrold Weaves A Powerful Story About Unlikely Friendship, Strange Magic, And Keeping The Shadows At Bay
A.F Harrold is an English poet He writes and performs for adults and children, in cabaret and in schools, in bars and in basements, in fields and indoors He was Glastonbury Festival Website s Poet In Residence in 2008, and Poet In Residence at Cheltenham Literature Festival in 2010 He won the Cheltenham All Stars Slam Championship in 2007 and has had his work on BBC Radio 4, Radio 3 and BBC7.
- 224 pages
- The song from somewhere else
- A.F. Harrold
- 06 December 2019 A.F. Harrold