BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: Skyborn (available here)
Author: Sinéad O’Hart
Publication Date: June 2021
Most Suitable for: Years 5-6
Review By: Jacqueline Harris
Bastjan has only known life in the circus. His mother was a performer there, but she died many years before. The circus, however, has seen better days and fewer and fewer people are coming to watch. The ringmaster and owner Quinn is a harsh man and life is not easy for any of the performers.
Alice is a runaway, with a distinctive birthmark on her face. When she encounters the circus, things are about to change. The mysterious Dr Bauer wants the box that Bastjan’s mother left him. What is in the box will alter the rest of Bastjan’s life.
This book is the prequel to The Eye of The North, but it can be read as a standalone story. I’ve never read The Eye of the North, but having read this, it has now become a story I really want to add to my ‘to be read pile’. This is because Sinéad O’Hart writes in such a vivid way. The world of the circus and the alternative universe, a bit like our own, is conjured up and easy to imagine through the richness of the language. The story is so exciting and compelling that it makes for a book that is hard to put down and the plot races along at breakneck speed.
The book is full of well-drawn characters and lashings of imagination. It does not neatly tie everything up at the end (leaving threads ready to be picked up again in The Eye of the North), which is quite refreshing in some ways. There is also a sense of lingering sadness, at things lost or gone and missed opportunities, that is unusual in a fantasy novel like this. For me, this is a ‘must read’ that children who enjoy fantasy will absolutely love – I can imagine finding a child reading under the tables because they simply had to know what happened next!
Order Skyborn online from Amazon or Bookshop.
Thanks to the publishers at Stripes, we have a copy of Skyborn to give away to one of our followers.
To enter, follow @booksfortopics on Twitter and RT the giveaway tweet.
The giveaway opens on the evening of Monday 14th June and closes 11.59pm 20th June 2021 (UK) — terms and conditions here.
Many thanks to the publishers for sending us a review copy. Follow along with the other stops on the blog tour for more about the book.
Where next? > Visit our Reading for Pleasure Hub
> Browse our Topic Booklists
> View our printable year group booklists.
> See our Books of the Month.