‘Stonebird’ by Mike Revell is a truly special read and invites you to believe in magic and the power of storytelling. It tells the tale of Liam who has to move away to a new home to be nearer to his Grandma who is suffering from dementia. We see him struggle to fit in at his new school and to keep his family from disintegrating around him. His Grandma is getting increasingly worse, his mum clearly can’t cope and his sister is skipping school. Liam doesn’t know how to fix everything that is going wrong in his life and feels increasingly despondent.
Things start to change in Liam’s life when he comes across a stone gargoyle in a church. He recognises it as something he thought he had just imagined flying over his house but when he sees the same gargoyle Stonebird drawn on his Grandma’s diary he feels inextricably linked to this being. But Gargoyles can’t come to life can they?
Liam is soon drawn into a world where the gargoyle is bringing to life the stories he is telling at school and he thinks it can save his family. However things take a turn to the dark side when Liam allows his anger to create a potentially deadly situation. His wish for Stonebird to protect him backfires and he is no longer sure this is the answer to his problems.
This book is not afraid to tackle lots of issues such as dementia, bullying, and estranged families but it doesn’t make this the main focus of the story. Instead we are drawn into this magical world of Stonebird where you get swept up in the magic of this creature trying to protect and hold together Liam’s family. I’m not sure how Mike Revell does it but he manages to make it feel so realistic that it doesn’t take a massive leap of the imagination to believe that Stonebird really does come to life. This is an incredible debut novel which took me on an emotional rollercoaster, I couldn’t put it down it totally blew me away.
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