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Lark Reviews

Lark by Anthony McGowan


Anthony McGowan

Score pending

2 reviews

Category: Children's
Imprint: Barrington Stoke Ltd
Publisher: Barrington Stoke Ltd
Publication date: 4 Jan 2019
ISBN: 9781781128435

Nicky and Kenny's mum is coming to visit for the first time in years. But when an outdoor adventure to take their minds off everything goes from bad to worse, there's a chance that not everyone will make it home alive... Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant, or dyslexic readers aged 13+.

  • The Sunday TimesChildren's Book of the Week
5 stars out of 5
Nicolette Jones
27 Jan 2019

"heartwarming and heartbreaking"

It creates suspense from the start, as wintry weather during a walk on the Yorkshire Moors endangers the brothers and their dog. It is funny, scatological, terrifying, heartwarming and heartbreaking, and is written in everyday prose through teenage Nicky’s convincing voice. The boys, whose family life has been rocky, but whose bond with each other is powerful, are touching and brave and also ordinary. McGowan creates characters whose background (working-class northern) is too little represented in fiction for young people, and he makes us know them and live their experience as if we were there.


4 stars out of 5
1 Jan 2019

"may well surprise and move readers"

...McGowan’s avoidance of melodrama makes things seem all the more dangerous... As with the earlier books, along with the excitement of the adventure, our interest lies in the relationship between the brothers and the emotional frontiers they cross, together and separately. McGowan makes such complexity available to his teenage readers in a social context where day-to-day life can be abrasive and emotion is implicit rather than expressed. Chapters are short, adjectives and adverbs are used sparingly. 
This novella brings the boys’ story to an end, and it does so in a way that may well surprise and move readers.