Hachette Children’s Group has acquired Bone Music from David Almond, described as "a masterpiece that speaks to a modern audience about the ancient past and contemporary struggles."
Bone Music will be published in hardback on the Hodder Children’s Book imprint in April 2021 with a cover illustrated by David Litchfield. The paperback will follow in September 2021.
Set in Northumberland, Bone Music follows Sylvia Carr as she reconnects with the ancient past and discovers what it really means to be young in the world today. She meets Gabriel, a strange yet familiar boy, and as they roam the forests together, she begins to see nature differently. From the wing of a dead buzzard, the pair create a hollow bone—the kind of flute used in the rituals of the distant past. Over the course of one magical night, Sylvia plays the bone and encounters her ancient self, and is reconnected with the prehistoric world. She returns to the city ready to face the opportunities and challenges of the modern world.
Anne McNeil, executive publisher at Hachette Children’s Group, bought world English language rights from Catherine Clarke at Felicity Bryan Associates.
McNeil said: "Bone Music is a masterpiece that speaks to a modern audience about the ancient past and contemporary struggles. It resonates hugely and will touch both hearts and minds. Critically acclaimed and multi-award winning, David Almond is one of the finest voices writing for young people today."
Almond commented: "This book is really important to me. At times it seemed to flow through me like music. I felt very close to the shy and rebellious Sylvia Carr as she stepped boldly into the darkness of the forest and of the past. The book is set within the wild and extraordinary landscapes of Northumberland, which in many ways form the geography of my imagination. All stories are acts of hope and of re-creation, moves against the forces of destruction that surround us all. Bone Music is an optimistic book for young people, written in the belief that together we can create a better world."
Hodder Children's Books published Almond's Carnegie Medal winning novel Skellig in 1998 and most recently published his teen novel The Colour of the Sun in 2018. According to the publisher, his work has been translated into 40 languages.