The Song from Somewhere Else by A F Harrold and Levi Pinfold
|The Song from Somewhere Else by A F Harrold and Levi Pinfold|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Beautiful story of friendship, loyalty and bullying. An otherworldly flavour, lyrical language and evocative illustrations combine to create a truly remarkable story.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 240||Date: November 2016|
|External links: Author's website|
If you were being stalked by the school bully and his two sidekicks, and if a kindly soul rescued you from them in the park, you'd be grateful, right? Or would you? Frank knows she should be grateful when Nick rescues her from Neil Noble and his acolytes Rob and Roy. But she also knows that Nick - laughed at for being flea-ridden and smelly at school - is not a person you'd want to be associated with. So Frank intends to say thanks and get the heck out of Nick's house as quickly as she can...
... but then the music starts. And the music is the sweetest, purest, thing that Frank has ever heard. She wants to hear it again. And again. And again. Following the beautiful sound leads Frank to discover that there are secrets in Nick's house. And if you are reading carefully, as I'm sure you will be, you will also wonder whether or not Frank's missing cat, Quintilius Minimus, has anything to do with it...
Oh, my goodness. The Song from Somewhere Else is a lovely story. Mostly it's a story of friendship and how it can be found in the most unexpected places. And also about growing up and learning that friendship is something that you can both betray and be loyal to and how you make the right choice in that. But it's also a fantasy, imagining other worlds and lives - are such things possible and can they reflect the joys and conflicts in our own, human, lives? It's beautifully told, in smooth evocative writing, with never a word wasted or out of place.
Harrold's The Imaginary was illustrated by Emily Gravett, whose beautiful images perfectly complemented the story. There's the same happy marriage between wordsmith and artist here, with illustrations by Levi Pinfold. They are dark and eerie and beautiful. If you want to see examples, look here. I think I spent as long looking at and thinking about the illustrations as I did reading. And this extra time taken and extra thinking done made reading The Song from Somewhere Else feel like a luxurious experience. I wallowed in this book!
It's a fantasy story about two worlds colliding with each other. And it's a kitchen sink story of bullying and a friendship made from both loyalty and betrayal. It might seem an odd combination but the two aspects are joined not just by careful plotting but also by lyrical prose that makes anything seem possible.
I truly loved this story.
If The Song from Somewhere Else appeals, you might also look at The Savage by David Almond and Dave McKean or A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness , which both look at grief but also have a similarly otherworldly flavour. Or perhaps, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman , which skilfully combines the charming and the macabre.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Song from Somewhere Else by A F Harrold and Levi Pinfold at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Song from Somewhere Else by A F Harrold and Levi Pinfold at Amazon.com.
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