Katya Balen's emotive words along with Richard Johnson's atmospheric imagery interlace perfectly in this stunning story about the power of music and nature. Birdsong, published next month by Barrington Stoke, is a perfectly structured novella that is a real page-turner and ideal for dyslexic and reluctant readers.

After a devastating car crash, Annie is unable to play her flute and retreats from the music she's always loved.

She exists in a world of angry silence - furious with her mum and furious she can't seem to play her beloved flute any more. Then she meets Noah, who shows her the blackbirds' nest hidden in the scrubland near their flats. As their friendship grows, the blackbirds' glorious song reignites Annie's passion for music. But when tragedy strikes again, will her fragile progress be put at risk?

"Word perfect - note perfect" PHIL EARLE

Here are a couple of sneak-peeks of Richard's expressive interior illustrations from the book.


You can pre-order Birdsong HERE.


Katya Balen is a rising star in children's publishing in the UK. Her first book, The Space We're In, was longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award. October, October published by Bloomsbury has won the 2022 Yoto Carnegie Award