Illustrated in vibrant full colour, Yaba Badoe's story of dance, celebration, carnival and slavery, about a family understanding their past to change the future.
Set in contemporary Notting Hill, Man-man and his friends are swept up in the exuberant preparations for carnival. But his mother is ill and even as he dances, he calls desperately to the Queen of Revels, as old as time to make her well again.
Swept away with his best friend Kareem and sharp-tongued sister Panama, to a place in between, the Queen of Revels plunges Man-man into Africa's past and reveals his family's heritage. As they gather around the sacred Tree of Memories, he witnesses many slaves, captives whose pain and anguish and longing is held by the tree. Man-man understands how this is draining his mother and how he must help her back to the freedom stolen from his ancestors.
'Written with lushness and lyricism, this is a complex tale of friendships, community and family conflict expressed in fantastical metaphors' Sunday Times Book of the Week, on Lionheart Girl.
'[A] stirring fantasy, rich in west African legend, investigates the bonds of blood, love and friendship, and what it takes to grow into your power' Guardian, on Lionheart Girl.
'A blend of magical realism and brutality, this is a powerful and original novel' Sally Morris, Daily Mail, on A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars.
'I adore Yaba Badoe's writing; it's astonishingly brilliant and always invokes a visceral reaction. She weaves ancient storytelling magic into her words... Everyone should read Badoe' Sophie Anderson, author of The House with Chicken Legs