New house, new school, new friends - but Matt Lanchester knows it won't all be that easy when he moves from Milton Keynes to Hay-on-Wye. Almost as soon as he arrives he is drawn into a mystery when he sees a roadside memorial marked by a little wooden cross with the initials M.L carved into it. His initials! Then he meets Robbo and Tig and Old Wil Jones and his wife, Gwynnie. There's history here and a well kept village secret - and Matt is desperate to find out more. His new acquaintances are keener on taunting Wil - Wil, the murderer. But that's not Matt' s style. Befriending Wil, and with a sense of a shadowy figure always close by, he learns about a tragedy in the past, helps set the record straight and finally lay to rest the ghost of boy he feels he's come to know. Linda Newbery effortlessly mixes the old with the new, the past with the present, tragedy with triumph as she writes about communities and individuals, facing challenges and being accepted.
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(198mm x 132mm x 16mm)
Orion Children's Books (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
Publisher: Hachette Children's Group
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
Matt Lanchester, biking on a country road near his new home in Wales, believes that he was nearly killed after he experiences a supernatural accident with a phantom speeding car. This incident is identical to the real accident that left a boy dead on the same spot years before. Matt's encounter with a crude shrine that bears the victim's initials - the same as Matt's - leads to further revelations: He feels a mystical connection between the victim, Martin Lloyd, and himself; and it seems as if Martin wants Matt to learn the truth about his death. There are several "lost boys" here - Martin, the roadside casualty, and a child who succumbed after losing his way on a mountaintop a century ago and whose death and his dog's valiant efforts to find him have become the stuff of local legend. Matt's lost, too: He's trying to discover truths about the present by making sense of the past. He's also navigating friendships, including a tenuous one with a pair of toughs who've wrongly accused an elderly, mentally confused townsman of being Martin's killer. The author fairly successfully interweaves contemporary events with the past and reality with the mystical to frame a mildly engaging story. (Fiction. 10-13) (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Linda Newbery
Linda Newbery has published over 30 books, ranging from a picture book to teenage fiction. She won the Costa Children's Book of the Year Award in 2006 and, for CATCALL, the Silver Award in the 2007 Nestle awards. Born in Essex, Linda lives in an Oxfordshire village with her husband and three cats. Apart from writing, she spends time reading, gardening, swimming, going to the cinema and theatre, and walking. She is an active speaker at conferences and regularly conducts writing workshops. Visit her website at http://www.lindanewbery.co.uk and like her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Linda-Newbery-author-page/159061854179521.