2018 CARNEGIE LONGLIST BOOK 1220 This is definitely one of the better books on this list I wouldn t go as far as to say it was my favourite but it was different from what I thought it would be and I did enjoy reading it The illustrations really made the book that much magical they are so gorgeous all in black and white and haunting They suit the tone and atmosphere of the book perfectly This book follows the story of Frank So I will make the embarrassing confession that I thought Frank was a boy For the first page Then I got myself sorted out Everything is fine okay nervous laughter Moving swiftly on as I was saying this book is about Frank who is victimised by the bullies of her town I m not sure how old she is but I think somewhere about 12 Possibly That is how I imagined her anyway The bullying she experiences is horrific and awfully realistic I think this was a very big part of the book and focuses a lot on that One day she is rescued by this boy named Nick who is the strange boy in the class and relatably Frank doesn t want to be associated with him for fear of further bullying But they end up becoming friends I feel like the character of Nick wasn t terribly fleshed out and the things that Frank found in his house were far interesting than him There was a bit of magic in this book which isn t very well explained or shown in the blurb If you are interested in a heart warming story of friendship and all that go check this out The writing is very nice It has a beautiful flow and the whole book is one smooth read Probably one of those that you can read in one sitting The story is simple but effective the characters fit it well There were some humourous moments such as the times when Frank seems to have long conversations with her stomach who doesn t really like doing anything dangerous or intimidating There are also sad moments as well and I think this book carries lots of important messages about fitting in and family and friendships and not caring about what other people think about you People of all ages would enjoy it I think this book deserves at least a place on the shortlist It is on the better end of the scale out of the books that I have read so far And I love the illustrations It is very simple but not forgettable and the story is uniue and carries beautiful undertones Definitely recommend to anyone who likes a heartwarming story with a small touch of magic Stomachs don t lieA 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 uietly 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 uniue experience I remember being friends with him and how we were both two pieces of a strange puzzle two pieces that complemented each other two people that were best of friends and had the same mutual bullies Until that is That s not a uote from the book that is a friend I lost because I was too afraid of being best friends with the smelly large idSo this book hit me hard Review to come Also Posted on For The Love of Fictional Worlds Disclaimer A physical copy of the book was provided via Bloomsbury India as part of the Bloomsbury Award Winning Readathon The Thoughts. 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 2017 A Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2017Frank thought her summer couldn’t get any worse until big weird smelly Nick Underbridge rescues her from a bully and she winds up.
R 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 id but the family has no idea trope without the family seeming evil for their ignoranceAnd 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 now 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 uite 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 hear I thought it was a very interesting book I think it will be great for children to discuss the theme about bullying I found it uite odd and surprising how the mother turned out to be a troll I liked how the friendship grew between Nick and frank great moral message of don t judge a book by its cover The illustrations were great I think it was a great addition to break up the chunks of text I would highly recommend this book to children This book is beautiful and terrifying the perfect read for ids who like things a little creepy and different Things I loved talking cat friendship overcoming bullying gorgeous illustrations I didn t think that AFHarrold could write something better than The Imaginary but he did I didn t think a partnership between him and Emily Gravett could be eualled 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 uestions that when you start the book and believe me this is a very good thing indeedAF 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 AF 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 eep being drawn back to them. E 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 eeping the shadows at
Opinions feelings expressed in the review are therefore my own Actual Rating 475 Stars This was my first book for the amazing month long readathon hosted by Bloomsbury India for its Award Winning books starting from October 15th to November 15th The Song From Somewhere Else by AF Harrold and Illustrated by Levi Pinfold is the winner of THE AMNESTY CILIP HONOUR 2018 KATE GREENWAY MEDALThe Song From Somewhere Else by AF Harrold is a beautifully illustrated middle grade fiction that had me enthralled right till the last pageTold in the POV of Francesca aka Frank Patel the story follows her through the summer holidays s 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 consciencestomach 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 bridgingprotecting 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 This book was sent to me by the publisher Bloomsbury at no cost It will be out in Australia in December 2016 RRP 2499 hardback Recommended ages 9 12Uh wow This book is utterly beautiful and wonderful Both the prose and the object itselfThe story bullied girl one day gets rescued by the weird despised id 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 ind 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 inda 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 realOther 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 newspape. At his houseFrank uickly 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 becom.
AF 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