Jonah has always struggled to fit in at school. He has to find time to care for his mother and finds it hard to make friends. He has a profound shyness he cannot overcome. His one ‘almost’ friend is Valeria, a Russian immigrant who speaks little English, but who sings and plays the clarinet beautifully. Jonah often hides in the school chapel to escape the bullying from the other children, and this is where he finds a button.
He discovers that the button belongs to Nathaniel, the ghost from the 18th century, and someone who may be able to help Nathaniel through his own story. Both stories become intertwined, especially through music, as Nathaniel was once companions to ‘Wolferl’, who would grow up to be perhaps the greatest composer in all history.
Lucky Button is a beautiful, moving historical timeslip story inspired by The Foundling Museum, devoted to telling the story of the Foundling Hospital, Britain’s first home for abandoned children. Morpurgo is of course a master storyteller and his story is exquisitely illustrated by award-winning illustrator, Michael Foreman.