A little while ago we received a submission from an agent – a debut novel for 9+ year olds.
This was one of those rare manuscripts that, when it arrived, EVERYONE in the office had to read, immediately (in many cases, in a single sitting). We all fell in love with the book’s unique, beautiful voice and incredible story.
And we are enormously proud and happy to say that next year we’ll be publishing Little Bits of Sky by S. E. Durrant a brilliantly imagined novel, with a brother and sister at its heart who only, to begin with, have one another – and an uplifting story of loss, love and finding your place in the world.
Here were some of our reactions on reading the book for the first time:
“This is the only time a book has ever made me sob in a hairdressers. The voice is so strong and so immediate, I couldn’t stop reading, even with Grazia so near to hand. It gave me that tingly ‘we must have this’ feeling which was why I sent it to everyone else at Nosy Crow immediately. And I started reading it to my ten-year- old, who loved it too, and finished it on his own. It’s a very special book.”
Kirsty Stansfield, editor
“This book, for me, has all the makings of a modern classic, a prize-winner, and is one of the very few books to move me to a stream of tears. It left a lasting impression, a physical ache… totally beautiful.”
Catherine Stokes, head of sales and marketing
“I can’t get this book out of my head: it is so beautifully written, tender and moving without being sentimental, with such a distinctive, unique voice.”
Tom Bonnick, business development manager
“I loved Little Bits of Sky from the first page to the last, and for so many reasons: the story was heart-wrenching, the language was beautiful and most of all, every page was so full of emotion. It’s such a universal story of abandonment… and of love and hope, in spite of the circumstances.”
Ola Gotkowska, rights manager
“There are some phrases in this book which stay with you, possibly forever. They are SO right and apt and perfect, I can’t imagine any other words in any other order working as beautifully. I think it’s the ideal blend of naiveté and worldliness (that, very cleverly, never becomes cynicism and never stops piercing your heart a little).”
Dom Kingston, head of publicity
“Absolutely beautiful and delicately written. The sheer tenderness and heart-breaking truth had me captivated immediately. Lovely too to have a happy, but in no way saccharine, ending.”
Frances Sleigh, sales executive
“I was utterly seduced by this book. I loved the simple authenticity of the voice, I loved the heartbreaking story and I loved the miraculous, uplifting resolution, which made my heart sing and my eyes weep. AGAIN. It’s a book I will be giving to my Jacqueline Wilson-obsessed 9-year old who, I know, will also adore it. She probably won’t cry as much as I did, because 9-year olds are tough little things, but she will be transported, as I was, into the shoes of one of the most endearing, inspiring heroines I’ve encountered for a long while.”
Camilla Reid, editorial director
“Simply put, I loved this story. The voice was small but perfectly formed, and seemingly innocent sentences brought a lump to my throat. It was captivating, emotionally true and calmly convincing.”
Mary Berry, operations executive
“The best children’s novel I’ve read for years. As a writer, S. E. Durrant is wonderful; the book pulls at the heartstrings without being sentimental, and the pictures it paints linger in the mind.“
Adrian Soar, commercial director
“I really like the quiet simplicity of the voice, but also how it can be surprisingly funny. I also think the depiction of the older sister- younger brother relationship is lovely and heart-breaking and realistic, and reminds me of when my little brother and I were younger. It is exactly the kind of thing I would have devoured when I was younger.”
Ellie Corbett, publishing assistant
Little Bits of Sky will be published in May 2016. It’s a book we are hugely proud to publish on the Nosy Crow list: we cannot wait to share it with you.
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