The wonderful long-awaited second novel from Pam Smy, the celebrated author and illustrator of Thornhill. Covering themes of families, childhood, domestic violence, being separated and reunited, this is an important and beautifully illustrated book for middle grade readers right up to adults.
The Hideaway tells the story of a boy, Billy McKenna, who runs away from a difficult situation at home and takes refuge in an overgrown graveyard. While hiding there he meets an elderly man who is tending the graves in preparation for a day in November when something magical is set to happen. The book is written in two alternating narratives, both different aspects of the same story.
One thread tells of Billy’s experience of hiding away in the graveyard, his mixed-up feelings and emotions, and the supernatural events he eventually witnesses. The other tells of his mother’s situation at home and the police search for Billy.
Billy’s story is illustrated throughout with tonal and textured black and white drawings, until the event on All Souls’ Eve, when the text gives way to a series of double page images of the supernatural happening. The Hideaway is a compelling, exciting and emotional story that will stay with you long after you finish the last page.