An old Polish city fizzes with fear. The townsfolk are at the mercy of a dragon who lurks in the cave below the castle...
Konrad's dad always used to say, 'There is a character in a book somewhere that matches you almost entirely. It's just a matter of finding them'. Konrad never expected the 'finding' to involve stepping right into a story, and he never expected his dad not to be there with him.
After his Dad's unexpected death, Konrad stops speaking. Not a word at home or school as the year rolls by. But that begins to change when he meets Maya on the beach he loved to explore with Dad. She doesn't mind his silence, it gives her a chance to be heard, because at home no one seems to notice her. When the pair go on a last visit to Konrad's family bookshop before it's sold, they soon get lost in the pages of Konrad's favourite book of folk tales. Whisked back in time to quest with a dragon, to find themseves and their voices, as well as a happy end to the story in the book and in real life.
A beautifully told, compassionate story about grief and finding your voice, with a sprinkle of Polish folklore and a magical, medieval adventure from Waterstones shortlisted Ewa Jozefkowicz.
'Jozefkowicz writes wonderfully about family, friendship and self-discovery' Fiona Noble, The Bookseller
'A heartfelt story about the importance of community and the power of food to connect people' Scotsman Best Children's Books of the Summer 2021, on The Cooking Club Detectives.
'A gently unfolding detective story that delicately unpacks themes of food poverty, friendship and the importance of community spaces ... The writing gives space for a range of perspectives' BooksforTopics, Ones to Watch - Middle Grade Round-up for Summer 2021, on The Cooking Club Detectives.
'The plot has been carefully and skilfully crafted to be a story within a story ... It is so refreshing to find a well-written powerful standalone story for young adults that I hope it will be widely read and enjoyed' The School Librarian, on The Key to Finding Jack.
'Paints a convincing picture of a harrowing time in a young life ... By no means a gloomy read, offering ample humour, hope and optimism' BookTrust, Bookmark Book of the Month, on The Mystery of the Colour Thief.
'Celebrating the importance of community, family and friends, this is a lovely, warm-hearted story' The Week Junior, Book of the Week, on The Cooking Club Detectives