A beautiful day here in South Lincolnshire and a beautiful book to accompany it!

Birdsong is the latest addition to the brilliant Barrington Stoke super-readable novella series, principally designed to help dyslexic and reluctant readers develop a love of reading, but also great for readers who enjoy shorter stories. It tells the story of Annie, a talented young musician who is involved in a car crash which leaves her initially unable to play her flute. Struggling with her anger towards her mum, Annie finds herself unable to embrace music again and retreats inwards, until she meets a new friend who introduces her to nature and the glorious music of the blackbird’s song. Unfortunately, however, tragedy strikes again – how will Annie respond?

This is such an eloquently-written and empathic story about perseverance, friendship and the healing powers of nature. Like Katya Balen’s previous stories, it packs an huge emotional punch and it addresses anger and anxiety in a way that will really resonate with readers. The cover is just beautiful, as are the evocative illustrations which complement the book perfectly. It’s definitely one of my favourite reads so far this year – it’s touched a little bit of my soul.

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