A Small Free Kiss in the Dark by Glenda Millard

A Small Free Kiss in the Dark

Written by Glenda Millard

YA readers   13+ readers   Summer Reading   
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In a nutshell: family and survival in a strange wartime landscape

From the author of The Stars at Oktober Bend, now shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, this is another powerful, tender and precisely written YA novel. 11 year old Skip is living on the streets under the protection of a war veteran, also homeless, Billy. When bombs start to fall, they first shelter in the library, together with another boy, six year old Max. From there they flee to an abandoned funfair, meeting up with a teenage girl Tia and her baby. Despite the danger and destruction all around them, this strange little nuclear family finds reasons to be happy. Set in a haunting landscape, filled with strange, unforgettable characters and exploring themes such as the madness and futility of war, and the strength of human resilience, A Small Free Kiss in the Dark leaves readers with much to think about.

Brian Conaghan’s Costa winner The Bombs the Brought Us Together is also set in a war torn landscape and stars young people buoyed up by love and companionship. ~ Andrea Reece

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A Small Free Kiss in the Dark by Glenda Millard

Skip's an outsider. He's never fitted in. So he takes to the streets. Life there may be hard, but it's better than the one he's left behind, especially when he teams up with homeless veteran Billy. Then come the bombs which bring little Max and Tia, the sad teenage dancer with a tiny baby, into Skip and Billy's world. Scavenging for food, living on love and imagination - how long can Skip's fragile new family hold out as war grips the city? A moving tale of hope and survival, set in a bleak, war-torn world.


Be prepared to be moved, enchanted, heartbroken and uplifted all at the same time by this wonderfully poignant novel LibraryMice blogger.

About the Author

Glenda Millard

Glenda Millard is an award-winning Australian author of twelve picture books, seven fiction titles for younger readers and three young adult novels. Australian, she left school at 15 and went straight out to work, unable to fulfil her writing dreams. At the age of 45 she found herself out of a job and her children grown up. She began to write and hasn't stopped since, winning many awards in Australia for her picture books and fiction. With her appearance on the Carnegie shortlist this year, her writing is finally getting the recognition it deserves in the UK.

All titles in the Kingdom of Silk series have won or been shortlisted for every major book prize in Australia: the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards, Children's Book Council of Australia Awards, NSW Premier's Literary Awards and WA Premier's Literary Awards.

Glenda's novel, The Stars at Oktober Bend has been shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017.

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Old Barn Books

Publication date

1st June 2017




Publisher Profile

Old Barn Books is an imprint of Old Barn Books


Old Barn Books is a new, artist-led, independent, publisher of illustrated books for children and gift books for adults. With an office in a barn in the woods we published our first book, Bluebell Bears, in April 2015 and have published a book each month since. Working with creative friends old and new we have published board books, picture books and novelty books. Our list is eclectic and personal and aims to share our enjoyment of great illustration and the things our children love.

Find Old Barn Books on facebook, Instagram and twitter @oldbarnbooks.

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