The Night Sky in My Head by Sarah Hammond

The Night Sky in My Head

Written by Sarah Hammond

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Selected by our Editorial Experts

Shortlisted for the 2013 Leeds Book Award - July 2012 Debut of the Month. This is a stunning debut, perfect for fans of Skellig and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Mikey Baxter isn't like other 14 year old boys. Since an accident he's had a remarkable gift to go back in time and see things differently. Everyone else believes he's damaged. Just may be he can find out the truth of his dad's disappearance before the past starts to repeat itself. The Night Sky in My Head is a novel full of light and dark, magic and truth. It will stay with you long after you have read the last page.

A Review by Katy Poulter, age 12

The Night Sky in my Head was a lot better than I expected, it was the last book I read on the shortlist because it just didn’t look inviting but when I started reading, it was really interesting and I sort of ‘got it’ from the start and I really enjoyed it. I liked the way that Mikey was so obviously different and how he explained everything in a simplistic and childlike way and I completely understood him from the beginning. I really felt that, behind his problems, he was intelligent but it frustrated him when he couldn’t express himself properly and I think it takes a lot of skill to create a character that people can view in this way and see the layers of their personality. I liked the idea of the Backwards and how it pulls him under and only stops bugging him when he has seen all it wants him to see. I would have liked there to be a little bit more to the ending as I think it all ended a bit suddenly but I liked the sly twist of whether what he saw was the Backwards or the Forwards.

Katy Poulter is a member of the Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel but she has reviewed this novel in the first instance for the Leeds Book Award as it is one of the 2013 shortlisted titles. The organisers have kindly agreed to let us also make use of Katy's review.


The Night Sky in My Head by Sarah Hammond

'The Backwards is my special thing... sometimes there are things there that I don't want to see. My head is going woozy. It's about to start ...'

Mikey is not allowed to talk about the Backwards but that doesn't make it go away. It is everywhere he goes. Places tell him their stories, their secrets. But at the bottom of the garden, in the shed, is a truth that Mikey will have to use all his courage to face.


'The plot is gripping from the outset and maintains tension to the end. This is a terrific debut novel.' - Marilyn Brocklehurst in Children's Booksellers Choice section, The Bookseller

About the Author

Sarah Hammond

Sarah Hammond was born and grew up in Lincolnshire. As a toddler, she wore out her copy of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit through enthusiastic overuse and she is just as passionate about books now as she was then.

For almost a decade, Sarah worked as a solicitor in the City amongst learned and weighty tomes of commercial property law. However, following a lifelong dream to write children’s fiction, Sarah gave up the law and recently completed a masters degree in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa University with distinction. She writes for teenagers and is especially intrigued by secret unseen worlds that weave through ordinary life.

Sarah is based in Bath but spends her time between Somerset and Chicago.

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Book Info


304 pages


Sarah Hammond
More books by Sarah Hammond


Oxford University Press

Publication date

5th July 2012




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