Glenda Millard began thinking about the main character for this book after noticing a newspaper headline about 'urban tribes', and she wondered what life would be like for a young homeless boy, living with people thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. While the backdrop for this story is war, her intention was to capture the indomitable nature of hope. Glenda has written picture books, short stories and novels for children and young adults. The Naming of Tishkin Silk was an Honour Book in the 2004 CBC Awards and shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Literary Awards. Layla Queen of Hearts was a winner in the 2007 Queensland Premier's Awards and was shortlisted in the CBC awards. Kaito's Cloth was also shortlisted in the 2007 Queensland Premier's Literary Awards.
Gr 6-8-Millard's latest offering is a touching story of paradoxes-destruction and beauty, war and love, homelessness and family. Skip is a runaway foster child living on the streets when an explosion overturns the Dumpster in which he is sleeping. War has broken out, and he finds himself in a city of broken buildings and terrified survivors. He and his friend Billy, a resourceful and kindhearted homeless man, attempt to escape the chaos and avoid enemy soldiers by hiding in an abandoned amusement park. Joined by an orphan boy and a teenage mother, they huddle in the House of Horrors while the world collapses around them. Through it all, Skip comforts himself by drawing chalk pictures and thinking about his favorite works of art. He narrates with an artist's attention to detail and rich use of visual metaphor, depicting horrific scenes of bombing and devastation in poetic and surprising language. He finds beauty in everything, particularly in his companions, who become his longed-for surrogate family. Skip's optimism against the apocalyptic background lends the story a haunting quality that is not to be easily forgotten.-Emma Burkhart, Springside School, Philadelphia, PA Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
This book shows how the kindness of strangers can often be purest, and how those who have nothing can be the richest people in the world.'name to come, age 15It made me think about what was important in life.'Keely, age 13