Bone Music


Under a starry sky, Sylvia Carr reconnects with the ancient past. She discovers what it really means to be young in the world today. Sylvia, brave-hearted and rebellious, moves into wild Northumberland from the city of Newcastle.

She feels alien in this huge, silent, seemingly empty landscape.  She then meets Gabriel, a strange yet familiar boy. As they roam the forests and fells together, she comes to see nature with new eyes. She gradually becomes aware that the past is all around, and deep inside her. Using the wing of a dead buzzard, they create a hollow bone – to form a kind of flute that was created and used in rituals in the distant past.

As always from David Almond, this is a strange and unsettling novel, but one that is richly rewarding.  This is an absorbing tale that connects the past with the present and the city with nature.

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Bone Music

David Almond

(Hodder Children’s Books)

David Almond is one of Britain’s most respected and celebrated authors, producing writing for children that never fails to resonate.  He is able to get to the very heart of what it is to be human.  With Bone Music he produces a raw, pure and measuredly lyrical story of a girl discovering deep bonds to nature and the distant past.
City girl Sylvia complains when her mother relocates the family to rural Northumberland. There is no phone signal and the trappings of city life seem a million miles away. On her first night here, Sylvia is disturbed by haunting music, then later she meets a young musician, Gabriel, who disarms her with his quirky view on life.
The pair begin to explore the forest.  They fashion a bone flute out of the wing of a dead buzzard and Sylvia begins to see the world anew.  Bone flutes were used to charm the living and were also used to call the dead in ancient rites of passage. The magic of bone music and nature casts a spell on Sylvia, as does Gabriel.
This super novel stimulates reflection, provokes questions and prompts us to ask what we really need from life?
Bookwagon has several of David Almond’s books available in its on-line store, such as Brand New Boy and The Dam.
David Almond talks about Bone Music in this You Tube clip.


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