Eleven-year-old schoolboy, Roy Nuttersley has been dealt a pretty raw deal. While hideous parents show him little in the way of love and affection, school bullies make his life a misery. So Roy takes comfort in looking after the birds in his suburban garden, and in return the birds hatch a series of ambitious schemes to protect their new friend.
As with the best-laid plans, however, these get blown completely off course - and as a result the lives of both Roy and his arch tormentor, Harry Hodges are turned upside down. While Harry has a close encounter with God, Roy embarks on a voyage of discovery that draws in and impacts on everyone around him, including the local police, his headmaster and the national media. Where will it all end, and will life ever be quite the same for Roy Nuttersley?
Five star rated by Readers' Favorite. Long-listed by the Millenium Book Viral Awards 2018.
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"A delightful fairy story that deals sensitively and compellingly with real, modern-day issues." George Layton, actor, screenwriter and author of bestsellers, 'The Trick', 'The Swap' and 'The Fib'
"What an entrancing story. A real flight of fancy which will engage children in the plot and, at the same time, increase their understanding of real human relationships." lovereading.co.uk
"Just finished 'Sleeping with the Blackbirds'. Eyes full of tears. Would make a great movie: wonderful images and thought provoking scenes." Bramwell Tovey, broadcaster and GRAMMY award-winning composer, Vancouver, Canada
Wow, wow, and wow! Sleeping With the Blackbirds by Alex Pearl encompasses the charm of classics such as The Velveteen Rabbit and The Secret Garden. In a lively British voice, Pearl weaves a tale of social conflict when eleven-year-old Roy Nutterley finds himself at the mercy of school bully Harry Hodges and his cronies. Between the caustic atmosphere of fighting parents at home and the insecurity of the school yard, Roy finds solace only in his garden of ever growing bird houses. Roy is at peace among his bird friends and their comforting song. When his mother cleans the garden of his treasures, the affected blackbirds, tits, and magpies come to Roy’s aid in a surprising and awe-inspiring manner. The birds need Roy as much as he needs them. Not only is Roy rewarded for his loyalty to the birds, but Harry Hodges also learns the valuable lesson of right and wrong when he finds himself homeless and living on the streets.
"I love, love, love Sleeping with the Blackbirds. I couldn't put it down. The strength of the author's voice held me captivated long after turning the last page. With the wit of JK Rowling, Alex Pearl has definitely earned his place in the young adult fiction hall of fame. His fantasy broaches the subjects of homelessness, child adoption, bullying, injustice, and the cruelty of abusive parents, all issues with which the youth of today live. There is a moral lesson for each of Pearl’s characters to learn. Through a marvellous turn of events, each character is rewarded with the right ending. Bravo, Alex Pearl!" Lisa McCombs, Readers' Favorite
Listen to BAFTA nominated actor Nigel Havers reading extracts: https://alexpearl.bandcamp.com/album/sleeping-with-the-blackbirds